Weekend Game Turns Into High School 'Basebrawl'
Posted April 1, 1997
RALEIGH — A high school baseball game over the weekend was the talk of the schools yesterday not for any great plays but a bench-clearing brawl.
The fight between Millbrook and Leesville Road players resulted from a play between Millbrook's Joe Gaetti and the catcher for Leesville Road. Trying to score the winning run, Gaetti illegally plowed into the catcher and the benches emptied.
"I was very disappointed in the boys, the way they acted," said parent Carolyn Ketchie. "They should be adults. They have played ball long enough. It's just uncalled for."
UNC athletic researcher Ed Shields said the fight was an example of too much pressure to win.
"I think we need to distinguish between being competitive and play by the rules and winning at all costs," Shields said.
The Leesville coach would not comment, but Millbrook coach Harry Jones said he didn't expect to see any more fighting from his players.
"In that situation very few people had command of themselves," he said. "That's a lesson we will try to reinforce today and as we finish the season."
The North Carolina Athletic Association is looking for ways to improve sportsmanship. Some suggestions include suspending students and penalizing schools for repeat offenders.