(Update: Adding video, Little League rejects request)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — There are fantastic ways to win — and just as many heartbreaking ways to lose.
The Bend North 12-U Little League team was in a tie game in extra innings Thursday evening, with a chance to go to the Little league World Series in Williamsport, Pa., something every little leaguer dreams of.
But when a Washington batter hit a ball down the third-base line, one umpire called it fair and one called it foul. The play would score the winning run. After a few minutes of looking at replays, the head umpire called the ball fair, which gave Washington a 3-2 win over Bend.
“It was a foul ball,” Head Coach Brett Hartlaub told NewsChannel 21 Friday. “To be part of a Little League World Series is to be a part of history — and we were literally one step, one inning, one out, one run away from that.”
Hartlaub spent Friday speaking with Little League officials, trying to expand the the LLWS finals to 11 teams — a request that was denied.
“In the Little League rulebook, if one umpire calls it foul and one umpire calls it fair, the foul call overrules the fair call,” Hartlaub said.
Hartlaub said despite the loss, Bend North continues to put Central Oregon baseball on the map.
“There have been 72 baseball champions in Oregon Little League,” Hartlaub said. “Bend North has won four championships in the last nine years.”
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