Some people don’t like to deal with reality, but yes, this unfortunately really did happen.
And as much as it pains me to do this, and believe me I shouldn’t have to, here’s the Whittier Daily News and LA Times articles about the costly throw down …
Brawl ends season
St. Paul, Hesperia booted from tourney
By Roger Murray | Staff Writer
St. Paul High School’s baseball season came to an abrupt end Wednesday after the Swordsmen were involved in a brawl with host Hesperia in their CIF Southern Section, Division V second-round playoff game Tuesday.
Umpires ejected players from both teams and, following an investigation, officials from the CIF-SS office on Wednesday declared the game to be a no-contest. Officials also ruled that Woodcrest Christian, the team scheduled to play the winner between St. Paul, of Santa Fe Springs, and Hesperia, will move on to Tuesday’s semifinal round.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, CIF-SS Director of Sports Information Thom Simmons said both schools are in violation of CIF-SS “Bluebook” Rule 1522, which states, in part:
“Any player ejected for any reason or any player who leaves the confines of the bench or team area during a fight that may break out or has broken out shall be disqualified from participating in the remainder of the game and will be ineligible for the team’s next contest.”
The CIF-SS’ official statement also said that due to the number of ejected players on both teams involved in the incident, under the rule, neither school could resume this game, which Hesperia was leading, 6-3, in the top of the fifth inning.
Under National Federation of State High School Association rules, an official game must complete a minimum of
St. Paul Athletic Director Marc Hernandez and head baseball coach Casey Morales both declined to comment. They said school officials are conducting an investigation into the incident, which began with a play at the plate with St. Paul batting and one out in the fifth inning.
According to a report in Wednesday’s Victorville Daily Press, St. Paul’s Ricky Rios attempted to score from third base on a ground ball to third baseman Fred Antuna.
Antuna threw to catcher Trevin Cano, who tagged Rios for the out as Rios crashed into him.
Rios’ failure to slide or make an attempt to avoid the contact would have brought, as mandated by CIF rules, an immediate ejection.
But according to the Daily Press report, before the plate umpire could react, the two players became involved in an altercation that quickly accelerated into a physical confrontation.
Players from both benches then became involved as fans reportedly entered the field in an effort to quell the fighting.
Once peace was restored, the umpires ejected the players whose names were listed on the lineup cards and ruled the game over.
“Due to the seriousness of this incident and this organization’s commitment to Victory with Honor, we could not allow either team to profit from this unfortunate and disppointing situation,” said CIF Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics Dr. Jim Saunton. “This section will not tolerate this type of behavior from any school, team, administrator, coach or athlete.”
With its bye into the semifinals, Woodcrest Christian awaits the winner of Friday’s Nordhoff-Monrovia quarterfinal contest.
St. Paul, a Division V finalist last season and winner of its fourth consecutive Del Rey League championship this year, ends its season with a 20-8 record.
Brawl Puts St. Paul, Hesperia Out of Playoffs
By Dan Arritt, Times Staff Writer
May 25, 2006
While many high school teams continue to fight their way through the playoffs, two baseball teams have fought their way out of them.
Santa Fe Springs St. Paul and Hesperia were removed from the Southern Section Division V playoffs Wednesday by section officials after a bench-clearing brawl Tuesday left both teams with too few eligible players to complete their second-round game, which will be considered a no-contest.
Players and coaches were involved in the melee, which occurred after a jarring home-plate collision between St. Paul’s Ricky Rios and catcher Trevin Cano of host Hesperia in the top of the fifth inning with Hesperia leading, 6-3. According to observers, fans also entered the playing field.
Once order was restored, umpires ejected participants from both sides.
“We’re not going to stand there and let our teammate get beat up by 15 other guys,” said Hesperia junior Matt Serret, who was playing left field when the fight broke out. “I don’t regret going out there and helping, but maybe if it was handled differently, we would still be playing.”
Both schools were in violation of Southern Section Rule 1522, which states: “Any player ejected for any reason or any player who leaves the confines of the bench or team area during a fight that may break out or has broken out shall be disqualified from participating in the remainder of the game and will be ineligible for the team’s next contest.”
Under National Federation of State High School Assn. rules, a game must last at least 4 1/2 innings to be official.
“The rules are there for a reason and we’re going to respect [the section's] decision,” said Darren Goodman, boys’ athletic director at Hesperia.
Bobby Hutter, a junior who was scheduled to be the starting pitcher against Woodcrest Christian in a quarterfinal game Friday, said Hesperia (14-12) was beginning to play some of its best ball of the season.
“We were hitting the ball finally,” he said. “We felt like we could have gone kind of far.”
A group of Hesperia parents wrote a letter to the section, asking for consideration of the situation, but section officials typically take a hard line with their rules, which are implemented by member schools.
“Given the seriousness of this incident and this organization’s commitment to ‘Victory with Honor,’ we could not allow either team to profit from this unfortunate and disappointing situation,” Commissioner Jim Staunton said in a release. “This section will not tolerate this type of behavior from any school, team, administrator, coach or athlete.”
Last season, Arcadia’s baseball team had to forfeit a Division I first-round victory over Villa Park because its coach was spotted watching the game from beyond the outfield fence, despite being ejected from the previous contest. Villa Park was allowed to advance but lost its next game. It was later learned that some Villa Park players had conducted pregame batting practice at a teammate’s house, which is also a violation of section rules and led to the resignation of their coach.
Three years ago, Lakewood defeated Moreno Valley Valley View in a Division I second-round game, only to be disqualified for taking illegal pregame batting practice. Valley View went on to lose to Huntington Beach Marina, 1-0, in the championship game.
Woodcrest Christian will have a bye Friday and will play the winner of the Ojai Nordhoff-Monrovia game in a semifinal matchup Tuesday.