Two high school baseball teams in trouble after bench-clearing clash

PORTLAND, Ore. - The 'Holy War' on the diamond is leaving its mark on two high school baseball teams. A rivalry game between Jesuit High School and Central Catholic High School got heated, and now both teams are in trouble.

Jesuit athletic director Mike Hughes told KATU the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has suspended every player on Jesuit's varsity baseball team except catcher Tucker Hamilton.

The Oregonian reported that nine players on Central Catholic's team have also been suspended following a bench-clearing brawl Thursday afternoon.

Oregonian Reporter Danny Moran caught the sequence on tape.

Jesuit was up, 5-2, in the top of the fifth inning.

Central Catholic's Tyson Cooper hit a line drive and his teammate Ronnie Rust ran for home.

Rust collided with Hamilton at the plate as Hamilton tried to tag him out.

Jesuit third baseman Evan Haberle confronted Rust. Cooper came in to score as the umpire was making Haberle move back.

Cooper crashed into Haberle.

Within seconds, every player on both teams rushed in.

According to Moran's reports, the umpires invoked National Federation of State High School Association rules and ejected every player who left his position or the bench, then ended the game.

OSAA rules state that ejected players also must be suspended.

Hamilton wasn't suspended; he didn't leave his position after he was hit by Rust.

Jesuit Athletic Director Mike Hughes emailed KATU on Friday night:

"Jesuit is working with the OSAA and the umpire association to find the best educational solution to this situation. High school athletics are part of the educational mission of a high school, so we want to use this incident to help our student-athletes grow and become better citizens. Students make mistakes, and it is our job to help mold, nurture, and sometimes discipline them so they can become more mature people.

"While not minimizing the situation, the facts are that there were two hard collisions at home plate that led to charged emotions and some shoving occurred; that was it. Most of the players from both teams left their dugout but they just stood around and watched. But rules are rules, and the policy is clear that if you leave the dugout during a conflict, you are ejected from the game and suspended for the next game. That might be a tough lesson for our students to learn, but we will use this situation to help our athletes learn to control emotions, follow the rules of baseball and show good sportsmanship at all times."

Central Catholic was supposed to play Beaverton High School on Friday night. That game was postponed because of Central Catholic's suspensions.

Jesuit's next game is Monday. Hughes told KATU the team will use junior varsity players so it won't have to forfeit.

KATU also contacted Central Catholic High School Athletic Director Laura Jaeger about this story, but she has not yet replied.