There’s really no precedent for what occurred Wednesday throughout a Texas junior school baseball recreation, as Owen Woodward, a pitcher for Weatherford School, got here charging off the mound after giving up a go-ahead dwelling run and speared the longball hitter to the bottom as he rounded third base. I can’t keep in mind one other time a home-run trot was interrupted by a pitcher eager to battle the batter who simply took him deep.
The motion towards Woodward was fast from the Northern Texas Junior School Athletic Convention, with a four-game suspension. Weatherford School head coach Jeff Lightfoot was much more decisive, dismissing Woodward from this system. Seems Woodward’s pitch giving up the house run that led to the brawl was his ultimate one for the Coyotes.
The batter, North Central Texas School’s Josh Phillips, was suspended two video games after his ejection for taunting, allegedly saying “fuck you” to Woodward, which instigated the assault. Phillips was additionally warned earlier within the recreation by the umpires for exchanging phrases with one other Weatherford pitcher.
The convention additionally handed out two-game suspensions to any participant or assistant coach who left their place on the sector or the dugout to create the mass confrontation. Which means the complete North Central crew besides for 2 gamers can be compelled to take a seat out two video games. 4 different Weatherford gamers have been suspended as nicely.
Woodward’s idiotic cost and sort out of Phillips might value him greater than a junior-college roster spot. He’s a reliever who leads the Coyotes with 4 saves on the season. His kind in JUCO had earned him an opportunity to play on the Division-I stage, as he’s a Houston signee. A report from the Houston Chronicle mentioned Cougars coach Todd Whitting is “monitoring the scenario.” Second chances are high deserved from those that pay the correct retribution. Assaulting somebody on the infield wants greater than a promise to be taught out of your errors put up on social media.
The game between Weatherford and North Central was the opening contest of a four-game series. The conference ruled that the first game, which was stopped after the fight, would be ruled a forfeit for both teams. North Central must forfeit the next two games due to having two available players. The final game of the series will be played Saturday.
A statement from Weatherford on Wednesday read that Woodward would face potential disciplinary action from the college, including possible expulsion. In the release stating Woodward’s dismissal, Weatherford didn’t expound on that action. Weatherford doesn’t have an online student directory, but Woodward is no longer listed on the Coyote’s online roster. The Weatherford College Police Department is also investigating. Woodward’s social media accounts are set to private.
The conference’s original four-game suspension against Woodward would’ve been a solid move for a normal mound-charge after intentionally hitting a batter. Being the aggressor after mere trash-talk makes this situation worse where he’ll be lucky to suit up for Houston. That kind of energy is exactly what college coaches want gone from their locker rooms. I can’t see Whitting, regardless of any relationship built through recruiting Woodward, decide to openly welcome him into the Cougars’ fold.
Although Phillips isn’t exactly innocent in this situation either, forgiving cuss words is a million times easier. Weatherford did the absolute right thing by removing Woodward from the team less than 48 hours after the incident. Any black eye the fight had on the Coyotes is lessened due to the swift penalty. The tape doesn’t lie. What Woodward did is assault, regardless of wearing a baseball cap and jersey. And it’s disgusting.