Georgia Pitcher Accused of Cheating by Texas A&M Baseball Coach

Christian Mracna, the closing pitcher for the Georgia Bulldogs, was hunched down in the corner of the Texas A&M Aggies’ visiting bullpen. He wasn’t trying his best to be covert, but the cameras saw what he was doing.

There is a 30-second clip circulating on social media of Mracna in the bullpen “adjusting” his glove. His perspective is mostly obscured until he reaches for something behind a post. He seems to be rubbing a substance on the leather string of his glove. In another clip from the SEC Network broadcast, Mracna uses his right-hand fingers to touch the same suspect region of his glove while pitching versus Texas A&M.

He threw two innings as the Gators defeated the nationally-rated Aggies 5-4. The pitcher, Mracna, threw 30 pitches—23 for strikes—over the two innings. In addition, he managed to get six hitters to pop out.

The actions of Mracna were questioned by Aggies coach Jim Schlossnagle, who suspected that the pitcher could have used an illegal substance on the ball.

Typically, the substance is sticky, which allows the ball to stay in the pitcher’s hand before its release, which puts a tremendous amount of spin on the ball, improving an average curveball into a nearly unhittable pitch.

Georgia may need to proceed with care, as their pitchers will be closely monitored.

Although the Bulldogs came out on top in the end, it was the second half of a doubleheader, and the first half saw the Aggies pounded 19-9 by mercy rule. One might argue that Mracna’s antics may have given the Bulldogs the advantage, but as Schlossnagle pointed out, it’s just part of the game.

Umpires in Major League Baseball have been allowed to check pitcher’s gloves between innings since 2021. At this time, the policy does not apply to college baseball.

Unscrupulous pitchers will do various things to the ball. Some will scuff it with sandpaper, creating a spot on the ball that will create more drag, which gives the ball erratic movement.

Some will use a greasy substance to allow the ball to slip from their fingers without any spin, allowing it to “dance” to the plate— referred to in the past as a “spitball.”

A cheater will do anything they can do to make the ball not react “normally.”