Video: Chad Holbrook discusses Jerry Meyers' ejection, suspension
South Carolina pitching coach Jerry Meyers was ejected from Friday night’s game against LSU, apparently for expressing displeasure with the strike zone.
Things got intense in the fifth inning, when LSU scored three runs and got a pair of two-out hits off USC starter Clarke Schmidt. Meyers was ejected in the middle of the inning, which caused an extended argument between USC coach Chad Holbrook and home plate umpire Steve Dew. The Tigers went on to win 9-2 and tie the series.
Meyers will now miss Saturday night’s 8 p.m. rubber game.
“It’s a tough blow for us,” head coach Chad Holbrook said. “Jerry does a great job calling pitches. In a game this important, with a lot on the line, it's just an unfortunate situation.”
NCAA rules state that “when an assistant coach, a player (other than a pitcher) or team personnel other than the head coach is ejected for disputing an umpire’s decision or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language directed at an opponent or umpire, he will receive a one-game suspension in addition to the present game ejection.”
Holbrook said some of the pitches were “tight” and “marginal” and explained what he believes led to the Meyers ejection.
“I would put our program and our dugout up against anybody's when it comes to the amount we chirp at umpires,” Holbrook said. “We also coach with some passion, and the importance of the situation and the magnitude of the situation, we felt like we needed to defend our player. Usually in a situation like that, you hope to get a warning when you argue balls and strikes. Usually you get warned. We didn’t get warned tonight, and it cost our pitching coach a game in the biggest game of the year.”
Holbrook said the coaching staff would meet overnight to discuss what Plan B will be Saturday night for calling pitches.
“We have to make an adjustment,” he said. “That’s kind of like been our season. We’ve had some adversity come our way and we’ve got to handle that tomorrow.”
A flare-up when South Carolina faced Georgia on May 12, 2013, led to the ejection and subsequent one-game suspension of USC third base coach Sammy Esposito and strength and conditioning coach Billy Anderson.
An ejection also serves as an official warning to the SEC, which has its own suspension policy.
“That’s another phase of the game you can’t control, the umpires,” Schmidt said. “I thought I might have got a couple more calls, but I can’t do anything about that. If he makes a bad call, I’ve got to go out there and put it behind me and get the next pitch.”
Suspended personnel can’t dress for the game, communicate with any team members or umpires, take part in any pregame activities, or be in the stadium or on the field once pregame activities have started.