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Baseball is America's past-time but thanks to an early morning fight on the field, the sport has a black eye in Martinsville, literally.
"The incident that occurred was something that we do not commonly see in this type of youth sport," sad Artesian Little League Official Brent Worth.
The first pitch of the Little League Major Division Tournament was Thursday at Schwab Field. Game 2 pitted the Little League Orioles against the Little League Nationals. The game started just after 8 p.m. and it went extra innings before wrapping up after midnight.
According to police reports, as the two teams were shaking hands, two of the coaches from the losing team started jawing with umpire Josh Moscrip. Moscrip said one of the coaches got in his face, "then head-butted him." The coaches and the umpire continued fighting right there on the field in full view of dozens of parents, and about 30 12-year-old boys.
"It is really discouraging," said Worth. "We do not get to the point where it becomes physical and we do not get to the point where it becomes a bad influence for the children."
On the very field where the fight between a coach and an umpire is a sign. It reads: "Remember, it's just a game! And it's just for kids!" Artesian Little League officials said they are taking steps to keep it that way.
"Any enticement or tumultuous conduct will not be tolerated," said Worth.
The accused coach, whose name we are not releasing because he has not been formally charged, said he is "not proud of what happened."
Moscrip is pressing charges against the coach, but the coach maintains "we both were at fault." Worth said after what happened the coaches involved are no longer welcome at the diamond. Neither are similar actions by anyone else.
"Those people will be asked to leave the park and if they refuse to, they will be escorted out by the police," said Worth.
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega said a further investigation must be complete before formal charges are filed. Sonnega said if charges are filed, it would happen sometime next week.
Meanwhile, the tournament is scheduled to continue through the weekend.