JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A dust devil spun up directly over home plate at a Jacksonville youth baseball game on Sunday, leaving a young catcher caught up in the whirlwind.
Video taken from behind the plate showed the teenage umpire grab the child and pull him to safety.
Bauer Zoya, the 7-year-old catcher for the Ponte Vedra Sharks, recalled the frightening moment to WJXT.
“I was scared and I got afraid if someone would pull me out,” Zoya told WJXT.
The boy said despite the dust-up lasting a few seconds, the ordeal felt like it lasted several minutes. At one point, he thought the whirlwind would lift him off the ground.
“I couldn’t breathe that much,” Zoya told WJXT. “So I held my breath and I feel like I couldn’t touch the ground. So I kind of lifted up a little bit.”
Then, 17-year-old umpire Aidan Wiles carried the boy to safety.
“I was worried about his safety because when I got taught, the players’ safety is always the first thing,” Wiles told WJXT.
Zoya rejoined the game after his dad helped clean the dirt off his face and from the mask of his catcher’s helmet. He said that although the incident helped him play better, the Sharks did not go on to win the tournament.