05/27/2016 04:33 pm ET

Marine Returns Home And Surprises 10-Year-Old Son At Bat

They're all safe at home!
Master Sgt. Randy Brock hugs his overjoyed son and daughter.
Inside Edition
Master Sgt. Randy Brock hugs his overjoyed son and daughter.

Now, this was a really close call at the plate. A 10-year-old baseball player was overjoyed to find out that the umpire was actually his dad, a Marine who'd secretly returned from a six-month deployment overseas.  

Master Sgt. Randy Brock called balls and strikes in disguise until his son A.J. came to bat in a scrimmage in Menifee, California, on May 13.

Brock at first tried to draw his son's attention by deliberately making bad calls while A.J. pitched in the top of the first inning, according to the Daily Mail.

Then, with A.J. stepping into the batter's box, Brock paused to brush dirt from the plate and removed his mask. He was greeted with a big hug from his son.

Brock's 9-year-old daughter, Mikaella, rushed onto the field to join the family reunion. The children had thought their father would be returning from Japan next month. 

Their mom, Janet Brock, had arranged for the homecoming with officials from the Menifee Pony Baseball and Softball League. The surprise was the sole point of the baseball scrimmage, according to The Valley News, which perhaps explains the unusually large crowd who'd gathered to watch.

Sgt. Brock has deployed six times, including three combat tours.