A nasty brawl between two New Jersey rivals has left both teams’ seasons and a parent in police custody after both teams had their entire rosters ejected.
The unseemly incident erupted in Little Silver, New Jersey, where the Little Silver (N.J.) Red Bank Regional High baseball team was hosting Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.) High (R-FH). With the score tied 1-1, a Red Bank runner attempted to score after a botched suicide squeeze bunt by barging into home plate with a shoulder-block slide, an aggressive move aimed at taking out the catcher. The R-FH catcher in question didn’t take kindly to the tactic and came up swinging at the runner.
From there, a two-man fight morphed into a two-team brawl, with both benches emptying and a full-fledged melee ensuing. According to the Asbury Park Press, 22 R-FH players were ejected, as were 14 of their counterparts from Red Bank. And while coaches quickly swung into action to try and break up the brawl, they couldn’t keep the students from each other until it was already too late.
“The coaching staffs of both schools acted swiftly and as best as they could,” Vinny Smith, the game’s umpire, told the Press. “They did a commendable job in trying to break it up and they were very cooperative at the end of the game.”
The coaches were certainly more cooperative than the parents, one of whom charged on to the field to get involved in the fight himself. Police records showed that 49-year-old Rumson resident Patrick Maisto was charged with simple assault after charging on to the field and attacking a Red Bank player.
Naturally, the consequences for Maisto’s action could be severe, though the toll for the two teams involved could be equally caustic. NJSIAA, the governing body for all high school sports in New Jersey, calls for a mandatory two game ban for any player ejected for a game for any sort of unsportsmanlike conduct. That would mean that both teams will forfeit their next two games by default.
More troubling for both squads are the previous disciplinary issues that both had faced. The Press reported that both players had three or more players ejected from prior contests, which would push them beyond the threshold for number of ejections from events on the season. That would rule both teams ineligible for the postseason under NJSIAA regulations.
Naturally, feisty rivalries are a vibrant part of scholastic sports. That one would rule two competitive teams out of the postseason is a disturbing turn, let alone when a parent gets involved.
There have been no formal responses to the incident from administrators at the two schools as of yet, though that does not necessarily preclude either school from taking additional disciplinary measures against any of the students involved.