By Brian Day, staff writer
WEST COVINA – The baseball field at South Hills High School was found vandalized Saturday, a day after athletic authorities ruled in favor of the school in a contested victory. The vandalism resulted in an estimated $500 worth of damage, West Covina police Lt. Dave Rozeboom said. The incident is being investigated as felony vandalism. (To continue, click thread).
School officials discovered the damage when they arrived Saturday morning, South Hills baseball coach Kevin Smith said.
“The short stop was dug up… the mound was all dug up,” he said. “Home plate, they tried to dig it up, but they couldn’t get it out,” he said.
School district officials brought new sod Saturday to patch the field, and team parents pitched in to help make repairs, Smith said.
“A lot of parents were there,” he said. “It was nice to see.”
The damage to the field was found one day after California Interscholastic Federation officials ruled in favor of South Hills High School regarding a protested victory over Montebello High School Thursday.
Officials upheld the 3-2 Division 3 first-round playoff victory over Montebello High School after the opposing team accused South Hills of holding an illegal batting practice prior to the game. While CIF officials found an illegal batting practice did take place, they ruled it was not a sufficient reason to disqualify South Hills from the playoffs.
Police said it was too early to tell if the vandalism was carried out by someone displeased with the CIF decision.
Smith said he was reserving judgement until more is known about the vandalism.
South Hills players practiced at Covina High School Saturday, he added.
The team has a game against Lancaster High School Tuesday, Smith said. If they win that game, they will have a home game Friday.
Smith said he believed the field will be ready to practice on early next week, and ready for Friday’s game, assuming victory over Lancaster.
Rozeboom said police had no suspects Saturday afternoon.
“We’re hopeful someone will come forward with information,” he said.
In the meantime, Rozeboom said, police will conduct extra patrols around the school to keep an eye on it.