- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MIAMI (AP) - Ramon Hernandez was correctly awarded a home run Monday night following a bungled replay review during Venezuela’s 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic.

The game was delayed 10 minutes before the original call was overturned _ without the use of replay, as it turned out.

Second-base umpire Mark Wegner ruled Hernandez’s seventh-inning drive to left-center in play when the ball ricocheted back onto the field, and the catcher sprinted to third base for an apparent leadoff triple.

Television replays clearly showed the ball clearing the scoreboard on the fly and bouncing off retracted bleachers.

As the Venezuelans protested the call, the umpires conferred, with help from a translator. Three umps then went under the stands for what was supposed to be the WBC’s first TV replay review, which is permitted on home run calls.

The crew returned to the field and ruled the hit a homer, and Hernandez jogged across the plate as fans roared.

But after the game, crew chief Ed Rapuano revealed that the umpires were unable to see a replay on their monitor because the feed from New York wasn’t working. So they came to a consensus on their own and changed the call. Rapuano said third base umpire Hitoshi Watarida was sure he saw the ball clear the fence.

Hernandez’s home run made the score 2-0, and Venezuela held on to secure a spot in the tournament semifinals this weekend in Los Angeles.

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