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Umpire's ouster makes waves

Here's a new one, thought West Pasco Ponytails manager Kelly Skulas: an opposing manager getting an umpire tossed.

Dixie Softball League state director Clarence Jordan of Zephyrhills said the controversial removal of first base umpire Brandon Jacobson from Monday's championship game is a case of sour grapes after Skulas' team lost 8-5 to Wewahitchka.

Wewahitchka manager Charles Grice insisted he only suggested Jacobson be removed from Monday's contest between 11- to 12-year-olds.

"It was a nightmare," said Skulas, who also is the West Pasco league president. "In the history of sports I never heard of the umpire ejected and not the coach. I've never seen such a farce made of a game in all my life."

Jordan responded: "It was nothing to do with the other coach or anything. Kelly's griping because she lost."

"I didn't get him thrown out," Grice said. "The other two umpires went to him and asked him to leave."

After Jacobson called several illegal pitches on Wewahitchka starter Samantha Rich, Skulas said Grice came onto the field to complain.

"He basically started screaming, "Clarence (Jordan), get down here now. I'm not going to continue this game until this umpire is removed,' " recalled West Pasco coach Dave Richards.

"It seemed like Jacobson really had it in for us," Grice said. "He was calling illegal pitches on my pitcher, and she was doing the same thing the other pitchers were doing."

Skulas said Rich was not dragging her back foot across the pitching rubber during her windup as league rules require.

"I requested for (Jacobson) to leave," Grice said.

Jordan insisted he did not ask Jacobson to leave the field, saying home plate umpire Darrell Crosby made that decision.

"I didn't tell him, no, it's not my field," Jordan said.

The loss eliminated defending state champion West Pasco from the playoffs. After winning last year's state title, West Pasco finished third in the Dixie Softball League World Series.