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Oregon Catholic school baseball rivalry ends in bench-clearing brawl

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

A rivalry baseball game between two Portland, Ore., Catholic high schools — commonly referred to as the "Holy War" in the local papers — came to an abrupt end without victory or virtue on Thursday afternoon.

Two successive collisions at home plate between Central Catholic baserunners and Jesuit's battery resulted in a bench-clearing brawl and the cancellation of the contest, according to The Oregonian.

The newspaper's Danny Moran captured the entire scene on video. According to Moran, it all started with two on and two out in the top of the fifth inning. Central Catholic junior Tyson Cooper's lined a hit off Jesuit's Oregon State-bound southpaw Christian Martinek, scoring the first run easily and cutting Jesuit's lead to 5-3. But tempers ran high as a second runner came around on a close play at the plate.

We'll let Moran take it from here.

When Rams catcher Ronnie Rust attempted to tack on a second run, he collided at home plate with Jesuit catcher Tucker Hamilton as Hamilton attempted to make the tag.

While Hamilton lay on the ground, Jesuit third baseman Evan Haberle ran towards home plate and was stopped by the home plate umpire before he reached Rust.

As Haberle moved back, Cooper attempted to score from third base and collided with Haberle while crossing the plate.

Umpires invoked National Federation of State High School Associations rules, ejecting each player who left the bench or his position. As a result, neither team could finish the game, and the contest was canceled without a winner. Still, the altercation may very well cost both teams a victory, as Oregon School Activities Association rules require all ejectees to sit out the following game.

According to The Oregonian, both coaches will issue an appeal with the OSAA if they are forced to forfeit.

Major League Baseball enacted a rule aimed at limiting home plate collisions this season — and the first example came with plenty of controversy — but rarely do two such instances occur on the same play.

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