Published On: Fri, Apr 22nd, 2022

Texas junior college pitcher is no longer with the team after tackling opponent

A junior college pitcher who leveled an opposing hitter during a home run trot in a Texas baseball game Wednesday was handed a four-game suspension following the incident, but is “no longer with the team,” school officials said.

The incident, which was captured on video, saw the game between host Weatherford College and the North Central Texas College suspended in the top of the sixth inning.

The North Central Texas batter had just touched third base when the Weatherford pitcher raced toward him and slammed him to the ground, sending his helmet flying, video broadcast by TSRN Sports showed.

In a statement Thursday, Weatherford said the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference had enacted a four-game suspension for the pitcher following the incident. However, it said Weatherford baseball coach and assistant athletic director Jeff Lightfoot had confirmed that the player, who was not named directly, was no longer with the team.

It added that the Weatherford College Student Services Office had also handed down additional discipline to the student, but said it would not release those details, citing college policy and federal regulations protecting student privacy.

Weatherford said the North Central Texas batter had also been handed a two-game suspension for taunting. Meanwhile, a number of players with North Central Texas were also given two-game suspensions for running out onto the field following the incident, violating “rules prohibiting players and coaches from leaving their positions or their dugouts during a fight,” the school said.

Before the incident unfolded, the batter’s long ball had given the visiting team a 3-2 lead in Wednesday’s game, which was the first of a four-game series between the two colleges. Weatherford said game one would be a double forfeit following the incident.

“Games two and three will be considered NCTC forfeits due to the school not having enough current certified players to field a team,” it said. Meanwhile, game four is scheduled to be played at North Central Texas on Saturday. 

In an earlier statement, Lightfoot had said school officials were “shocked and disappointed at what happened in our game.”

“We do not condone this type of behavior. We have worked hard to build a program with the highest of standards,” he said. “We are completely embarrassed by this incident, and we apologize to North Central Texas College and the fans of WC baseball. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated.”

North Central Texas Chancellor Brent Wallace said he hoped the “unfortunate events at Weatherford College will be used as a teaching moment for our student athletes to help ensure these incidents do not occur in the future.”

David K. Li contributed.

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