forfeit gameafter brawl
The State College of Florida and Hillsborough Community College baseball teams didn't get a chance to settle any scores Saturday in the aftermath of Friday night's bench-clearing altercation at Robert C. Wynn Field.
About 30 minutes before the two teams were to meet again Saturday afternoon, commissioners of the Florida Community Colleges Activities Association declared a double forfeit, penalizing both teams for the melee that occurred during the sixth inning of SCF's 9-8 victory Friday.
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The Suncoast Conference-leading Manatees had arrived in Tampa and were ready to take on the Hawks when the decision came down.
"It's tough to lose a game when there wasn't a pitch thrown," SCF head coach Tim Hill II said Saturday evening. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before."
SCF (9-2) entered the day with a four-game lead in the loss column over Polk State College and HCC in the Suncoast Conference. Both the Manatees and Hawks were given a loss in the standings.
The two teams met near the plate Friday night after HCC pitcher Matt Wynne hit SCF's Connor Oliver in the back with a pitch. The beaning came after Manatees hitter Sean Trent hit a three-run home run that gave SCF a 9-5 lead.
After the melee, two players from each team and HCC assistant coach Kevin Clark, a former SCF player, were ejected.
"Supposedly, you can't leave the bench, whether you were actually involved in the incident," Hill II said. "They penalized everybody on both sides."
SCF athletic director Matt Ennis said Saturday he is awaiting final word about additional penalties that might be handed down. "Violent ejections" like the ones given Friday normally result in three-game suspensions for the players ejected. There is a two-game penalty for players who leave the bench during a brawl, which could mean SCF would have to forfeit Monday's home game against South Florida State College.
"It's disappointing," Ennis said of the altercation. "It wasn't an all-out brawl; there was a lot of talking. ... That's not what we expect from our student-athletes, and I'm sure it's not what HCC expects from its student-athletes. You just hope it's a learning experience."
CLASH IN THE KEYS -- Manatee went 1-1 at the Key West tournament on Saturday, falling to Gainesville Santa Fe 5-4 in the championship game.
The Hurricanes (13-6) defeated Key West in their first game of the day. Kelli Gault got the win on the mound, allowing a run and three hits over four innings. Hailey Hopkins came on and threw three scoreless innings, striking out five, for the save.
Marriah Wise scored twice and stole three bases for Manatee in the opener. Therese Byrne, Kiley King and Hopkins each had two hits.
In the finale, Byrne, Taylor Bell and King had two hits apiece for the Hurricanes.
CARDINAL MOONEY 13, WINTER HAVEN ALL SAINTS ACADEMY 5 -- Haley McCurdy scored three goals and tallied three assists, and Lindsay Savigne and Sarrah Nelson added two goals apiece in the Cougars' win against the visiting Saints.
Brooke Devine, Nina Bracciano, Bridget Walsh, Kelly Nicholson, Victoria Krupa and Melissa Galman each had a goal for Cardinal Mooney (8-1).
-- Herald staff reports