Dan McDonnell, the super competitive University of Louisville baseball coach, had never been ejected from a game before the semi-final Big East Tournament game against St. John’s.
That might still be true had he not been baited by an umpire Saturday.
McDonnell protested vigorously when umpire Mike Shields called an inning-ending third strike on a low and outside pitch to Drew Haynes. Haynes was miffed at the call, flinging his bat to the ground, getting ejected immediately.
The Louisville coach and Shields went at it for several minutes before the other umpires joined in, using their authority and bulk to intimidate the Louisville coach. No force was used, but it had the clear appearance of a threat.
McDonnell finally quits protesting the call and returns to the dugout. He has come to grips with the call and the argument is clearly over.
But all of a sudden McDonnell comes running out of the dugout again, hot and more angry than ever, obviously upset at a parting shot from one of the umpires. Must have been a really cheap one but that was when McDonnell would get the heave himself.
It was that kind of game, that kind of tournament, that kind of week for Louisville baseball, with U of L eliminated by St. John’s 5-3 in the semi-final game.