Well, that escalated quickly.
In the season opening game between Sacramento State and UC Riverside, fans got more than they bargained for when a fight broke out, bringing players from both teams onto the field in a true to form bench-clearing brawl.
And people say that baseball isn’t really a team sport. One guy on your team gets tagged out between second and third base? No big deal. But when the fielder gets a little too aggressive and your runner responds with a right hook? You’ve got an obligation to pull yourself off the bench and hit someone.
The fight happened during the third inning when Eddie Young of UC Riverside was tagged out by the Sacramento State second baseman, Andrew Ayers. After Young threw the first punch, Ayers responded in kind and within a few seconds, the field was full of players looking to hit someone.
It’s not a particularly good looking punch that starts off the fight — not great contact. But in a bench-clearing brawl, it’s not about how hard you hit, it’s more the principle of the matter.
Of course, the next punch thrown is a lot more effective, sending the runner’s helmet flying off his head. That’s when you know you’ve done your job right. If you can knock a guy’s helmet off with one punch, you’re allowed to sit out the rest of the fight if you want.
After the dust cleared, umpires ejected both Young and Ayers, as well as Riverside’s Drake Zarate. I have no idea who Zarate is in the video, but if he’s the only other player to get ejected after every member of both teams joined the fray, then he was clearly doing something right.
At the end of the day, the three players ejected from the game were suspended for four games each under NCAA rules, while UC Riverside won the game 2-1. I think the NCAA is being a little too harsh on the guys, especially Zarate. This was an exercise in teamwork and isn’t that what sports are all about?
[via CBS Los Angeles]
Image via bb50.ucr.edu