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Saturday June 18, 2011 NCAA Umpire Coordinator says Johnson's hit should have been ruled a home run

OMAHA, Neb. – The record will show that Vanderbilt’s Connor Harrell hit the only home run on the inaugural day of TD Ameritrade Park hosting the College World Series.

The record will be wrong according to NCAA Umpire Coordinator Gene McArtor, who released a statement after Florida’s 8-4 win over Texas on Saturday night regarding Gators designated hitter Brian Johnson’s seventh-inning double.

TV replays showed that Johnson’s hit to deep right field cleared the 8-foot-high wall in right-center field and bounced back onto the playing field after hitting a metal railing behind the wall.

However, second-base umpire Jim Garman ruled the ball did not clear the fence, and after a meeting between the umpiring crew, the call stood. Instead of a three-run homer, Johnson ended up with a two-run double.

“The batted ball in the bottom of the seventh inning was mistakenly ruled in play rather than a home run that did clear the yellow line of the outfield fence,’’ McArtor said in the statement. “The umpires did and are allowed to conference to determine if any others of the crew had different information, which they did not.

“The umpires do not have the ability for video review.’’

The ball must clear the yellow line atop the fence, which replays showed it clearly did. Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan didn’t have much to say about the ruling since in the end it did not factor into the final outcome.

“I just think it’s part of the game,’’ O’Sullivan said when asked if he would like to see instant replay used. “I thought it went out. But you don't know. It's a tough call. But it's just one of those things that didn't have an outcome on the game.’’

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