Clemson coaches ejected in 13th inning of Super Regional (2024)

By Beth Hoole

Published: Jun. 9, 2024 at 7:39 PM EDT

CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - There were plenty of fireworks in Clemson Sunday when Tigers head coach Erik Bakich and Hall of Fame and former Clemson head coach Jack Leggett were ejected in the 13th inning of the must-win NCAA Super Regional game with Florida.

The game’s crew chief, Billy Van Raaphorst, released a lengthy explanation overnight for the ejections of Bakich and Leggett. Confirming his crew had gathered to discuss ‘possible unsportsmanlike conduct’ after Alden Mathes’ home run in the top of the 13th inning. Van Raaphorst said both Bakich and Leggett were ejected for yelling at the umpires for meeting, failing to comply when warned, and they received further suspensions for failing to obey what Van Raaphorst called ‘prolonged warnings.’

Leggett’s current title with Clemson is program development coach. Bakich served under the long-time Tigers head coach in 2002 when Bakich’s coaching career began. He brought Leggett back to Clemson when he was hired in 2022.

Van Raaphorst explicitly labeled Bakich’s conduct as unsportsmanlike for, “raising his arms over his head while facing the crowd to clearly incite the crowd.” The statement said due to prior warnings of misconduct they “deemed this inappropriate, and he would be ejected for his actions.”

The scene escalated when Clemson took a one-run lead 10-9 in the top of the 13th inning on a solo home run from Alden Mathes. After he rounded the bases, the umpires are confirmed to have met to discuss his bat toss after his hit. Mathes turned to face the Clemson dugout, throwing his bat down as he celebrated with is teammates, before rounding the bases to give Clemson the go-ahead run in the must-win game.

Bang.

🚀 394 ft
💨 107 mph

T13 || CU 10, FLA 9

🖥 https://t.co/ozP6rh44g0 pic.twitter.com/0qFlc2afzs

— Clemson Baseball (@ClemsonBaseball) June 9, 2024

The NCAA Baseball Secretary-Rules Editor Randy Bruns did release a statement regarding Clemson’s first ejection of the night, stating both teams had been warned if there were any issues the remainder of the game that ejections would follow.

Per Randy Bruns, NCAA Baseball Secretary-Rules Editor on Jack Crighton ejection: pic.twitter.com/3Or0jrKbwt

— Beth Hoole (@bethhooleTV) June 10, 2024

The Clemson team remained in the dugout but Bakich left the dugout and Leggett followed him. The broadcast showed both coaches speaking in the direction of the umpire crew.

According to Van Raaphorst, “Coach Bakich came running out of the dugout when the crew got together. We told him to go back to the dugout while we huddled. We had to tell him three times to return to the dugout. Meanwhile Coach Leggett was in the dugout pointing and screaming at us about the crew huddling. Leggett was warned to stop, he continued waving his hands while yelling at the crew.

“At this point, Leggett was ejected for failing to obey the warning. He then proceeded onto the field in foul territory and was warned to leave or be suspended. Leggett continued to yell at the crew while walking toward the foul line while failing to obey the prolonged warning. Leggett was then issued a two-game suspension.

“Once Leggett was ejected, Coach Bakich, who had not returned to the dugout, stayed outside the dugout in foul territory and started raising his arms over his head while facing the crowd to clearly incite the crowd. Due to the previous unsportsmanlike conduct warning issued earlier, we deemed this inappropriate, and he would be ejected for his actions. We ultimately decided that the batter’s actions were not an ejectable offense.”

I want to play for Bakich. If this doesn’t inspire Clemson to come back and win this series, idk what will

pic.twitter.com/MhWa8rqqDB

— Monty Taylor (@Monty2740) June 9, 2024

The NCAA’s last statement regarding Bakich and Leggett’s ejections came late Sunday night when they explained the rule book: “A head coach who is ejected but then immediately stops arguing and leaves the field is not suspended per Rule 2-26. However, per Rule 5-15-a-4, any team personnel who has been ejected and continues to argue or continues to excessively express themselves with prolonged actions or offensive language is suspended for 2 additional games.

“Team personnel other than the head coach (such as an assistant coach or player) who are ejected also serve a one-game suspension per Rule 2-26-f.”

Clemson has passed along this NCAA rule though there is no specific statement from the NCAA yet pertaining to tonight’s ejection of Bakich & Leggett. pic.twitter.com/LlCP2qXNDY

— Beth Hoole (@bethhooleTV) June 10, 2024

Clemson said Bakich would not be available for a post-game press conference because of NCAA rules.

Mathes was not ejected during the 13th inning despite his teammate’s confusion after the game.

“They threw him out, coaches were pretty mad about it,” Clemson third baseman Blake Wright incorrectly said after the game.

He was not the only one confused by the 13th-inning fireworks.

“I didn’t know what happened,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game. O’Sullivan was an assistant under Leggett at Clemson for years. “Obviously the lead-off hitter hit the home run so I went back to look at the lineup card to see who we had coming up. I didn’t know what happened. Obviously it’s unfortunate, he’s a legend, a Hall of Famer. You hate to see that happen.”

Florida would come back in the bottom of the 13th inning to walk it off 11-10 and return to the College World Series for the second straight season.

Copyright 2024 WHNS. All rights reserved.

Clemson coaches ejected in 13th inning of Super Regional (2024)
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