FORT WAYNE – Lansings Jesse Hernandez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning on June 12 against the TinCaps at Parkview Field.
Fort Waynes first batter of the inning, Casey McElroy, hit a hard grounder to first baseman K.C. Hobson. The ball hit off his glove and went toward second base, allowing McElroy to reach first safely.
Bill Salyer, the official scorer that evening, immediately thought it was an error, but he wanted a second look so he headed to the video room in the press box and watched a replay.
He then came back and announced his ruling: Error.
It was a pretty clear call, but still with a no-hitter going, it changes things a little bit, Salyer said. Even if it is for the other team, you have to try to be as impartial as possible.
The TinCaps did get a hit an inning later when Travis Whitmore hit a grounder that deflected off Hernandezs glove.
Making the tough calls is part of the job for the official scorers.
Either way, each manager or hitting coach or pitching coach is going to think it should go the way they want it to go. On a close call, youre going to upset somebody in one clubhouse or the other, Salyer said. You have to put all that aside and make sure you make what you believe is the right call no matter who its for.
The TinCaps have a rotation of scorers. Salyer, assistant athletic director/media services at IPFW, and Bill Scott, sports information director at Saint Francis, have worked a majority of the home games this season.
Ive always loved baseball my whole life, said Scott, who started scoring Fort Wayne games in 2008.
This was probably the first organized sport I played when I was 9, 10 years old, and its really a blast coming out here and still being a part of baseball at my age (58).
Salyer became an official scorer at TinCaps games in 2009, the first year at Parkview Field.
Growing up Id go to a ballgame and keep book with my dad, Salyer said.
Whether it was a minor league game or a major league game, wed always keep book. That developed my love for the little things in the game, the hits, the errors, how to make sure I scored it right on my book.
The official scorers role at Parkview Field goes beyond ruling on hits and errors.
The person announces pitching, position changes and pinch hitters to those in the press box and calls in results every half inning to a company in New York that are then posted online. They also at times meet with the managers after games to discuss any close calls.
I know its not easy. Those guys up there try to do the best job they can do, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said.
Our scorers have been great. They always ask me if there is any change or if they can help. They are always open to talk or correct something.