UPDATE: Following additional review of the benches-clearing incident which ended Molina’s first round series against Samuell prematurely, Dallas ISD determined that Molina’s entire roster would be suspended from the opening game of their second round playoff series against Waxahachie, due to a mandatory one-game suspension for any player who leaves the bench during a confrontation. As reported by the Dallas Morning News, by default, that means Molina will forfeit game one of the forthcoming series.
“Everyone knows that’s our procedure,” Dallas ISD athletic director Gil Garza told the Morning News. “We try to teach kids there are consequences for their actions. This is not something I’m proud of, but we’re about teaching kids right from wrong. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. You have to learn self control.
“These kids are not bad kids. They let their emotions get the best of them. I’m sure a lot of them regret what they did. … No one from either team was in the dugout.”
Molina and Waxahachie will still kick off their series on Friday night, but Molina will now enter already down by a game. A Molina victory in Friday night’s (technically) game two would force a single-game winner-take-all contest on Saturday, unlike the doubleheaders usually hosted to decide deadlocked series.
A Texas first round baseball playoff series was ended prematurely due to a benches clearing brawl between the two teams in Game 2, automatically enacting a series of rules that forces the series to revert to a single game playoff.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, game 2 of the series between Molina and Samuell was ended when the benches for both teams cleared with Molina leading 7-2 in the bottom of the third inning. Molina automatically advanced when umpires deemed the series must be called off on the basis of their 10-0 victory in Game 1.
Here is how Molina assistant coach John Riherd and Sameull coach David Hinojosa described the play-at-the-plate which sparked the series-ending brawl to the Dallas Morning News:
“The Samuell player rolled over the catcher, which is an automatic ejection because he didn’t slide, he tried to roll him over,” Riherd said. “What I saw, the catcher got up and showed the umpire the ball and the Samuell player turned around. Our catcher pushed him and then the Samuell player hit the catcher.
“The Samuell players ran out on the field, and the players on the field ran up. We’re still waiting on the rulings on ejections.”
“There was a baseball play at the plate, and my player did not slide when he should have,” Hinojosa said. “There was a collision. But my player was walking back to the dugout. The Molina catcher, who is a great ballplayer, lost his head and retaliated and either gave a really hard, two-hand shove or threw a punch to my player in the back as he was walking back to our dugout.”
“Things escalated quickly for there, and it happened all in an instance. The moment things started escalating, I sprinted from my third-base box, and by the time I got down to our dirt area, I turned around and both teams were on top of us. Neither team reacted in the way we would hope they would.”
The true impact of the skirmish may not register until final suspensions are handed down by UIL officials. It’s likely that at least some Molina players are likely to be issues a suspension for part or all of the team’s second round playoff series against Waxahachie.