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CBB Column: College Baseball becoming Fight Club?

UMass and Arizona on Sunday (Courtesy of The Daily Wildcat)

UMass and Arizona on Sunday (Courtesy of The Daily Wildcat)

This weekend we saw two bench clearing brawls take place with the Florida-Duquesne match-up having an incident on Friday night and UMass-Arizona got into it on Sunday afternoon. Both of these incidents were out of conference matchups and don’t have any history behind them.  Since their isn’t any history between these squads, it makes it more disturbing.

The Florida incident saw UF’s Josh Adams hit a fifth inning home run as Adams was rounding the bases Duquesne starting pitcher Gary Pierpont started shouting at him. The first pitch to next batter Matt den Dekker sailed above his head which made him start walking towards the mound where both benches ended up clearing.

The Gators had den Dekker, Riley Cooper, and Ben McMahan were ejected. This was the second bench clearing incident to involve Riley Cooper who went in with his spikes up against Miami (FL) on March 1st. Josh Adams, Matt den Dekker, and Ben McMahan all picked up three game suspensions from the umpire crew for fighting. We should see if the SEC office gets involved at all.

The Arizona-UMass incident took place on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the weekend series between the two schools. The Wildcats were leading 3-0 when UMass pitcher Nick Serino (son of former Merrimack hockey coach and UNH baseball coach Chris Serino) tossed over to first baseman Peter Copa who got entangled with Arizona baserunner Dillion Baird. The players started to shove each other where both benches cleared. After the dust settled, the umpires had thrown out three Arizona players in Dillion Baird, Diallo Fon, and Matt Presley. Each player will have a three game suspension according to The Daily Wildcat. (LINK) We have asked UMass for comment on which players were facing suspensions and still awaiting their response.

I know this is a yearly occurrence to have a couple of bench clearing incidents but this is too much violence for some of your everyday fan. Parents bring their kids to College Baseball games as a cheap alternative and a nice day out in the South with the family and then a brawl breaks out on the field. Is that really healthy for a 10 year old kid to be seeing college players having bench clearing brawls?

Do you think this type of action needs to stop in college baseball? Do you think their should be harsher penalities when a bench clearing incident happens?

  • Liebo

    Bench-clearing brawls are never good to see, and two in a weekend might make you think more can be done to prevent them. But really, what else can be done? Some players involved are just defending themselves, so mandatory lengthy suspensions wouldn’t be justified in many cases. I believe some minor leagues have a mandatory one-game suspension for any player leaving the bench to join an altercation, and that might help as a deterrent. But those suspensions can leave a roster shorthanded, putting innocent players at risk of injury. If anything, administrators might want to consider the suspensions for leaving the bench, but the best way to minimize brawls will be to swiftly and uniformly hand down suspensions, supported by both teams, the conferences, and the NCAA. But you’ll never totally eliminate brawls, not unless you chain players to the benches.

    • Just weird that there was two bench clearing fights this weekend. I don’t think much can be done actually.

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