Assault arrest after bench-clearing brawl

Rumson-Fair Haven, Red Bank baseball teams both ejected

Credit: APP.comξ-ξLITTLE SILVER РA parent was arrested on an assault charge and both teams were ejected from the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional at Red Bank Regional baseball game after a brawl emptied benches in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday morning.

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“Both teams were ejected entirely, the game was terminated by me and everything else will be settled by the NJSIAA and the Shore Conference,” said the game”s umpire, Vinny Smith. The NJSIAA is the governing body of scholastic athletics in the state. The Shore Conference is the governing body of scholastic athletics in most of Monmouth and Ocean counties.

During the scuffle, a Rumson-Fair Haven parent came on the field and assaulted a Red Bank Regional player, Little Silver Police Lt. Robert Frank said. Police charged Patrick Maisto, 49, of Rumson with simple assault, Frank said.

Police, who were notified by the athletic department, were conducting witness interviews as part of an investigation, Frank said Saturday afternoon.

Red Bank Regional coach/athletic director Del Dal Pra said the brawl occurred after a Red Bank batter missed a suicide squeeze bunt attempt with a runner on third base. Dal Pra said the runner coming home from third collided with the Rumson-Fair Haven catcher.

Smith said the runner coming home “came in with a shoulder block on the catcher and was called out and ejected. The catcher retaliated by fighting.”

Both benches emptied at that point, Smith said. He said 22 players from Rumson-Fair Haven and 14 from Red Bank Regional were ejected. No coaches were ejected, Smith said.

“The coaching staffs of both schools acted swiftly and as best as they could,” Smith said. “They did a commendable job in trying to break it up and they were very cooperative at the end of the game.”

Smith said he planned to file a game termination report with the NJSIAA Saturday night.

The incident could result in both teams being ineligible to participate in the NJSIAA Tournament because both teams had three or more players or coaches ejected from games prior to the start of the state tournament. The tournament starts May 20.

The regulations posted on the NJSIAA”s website regarding state tournament participation state the following:

“Any varsity team accumulating three (3) or more player or coach disqualifications for flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct prior to the start of the NJSIAA tournament will not be permitted to participate in same. Seeded teams will forfeit their right to compete if a disqualification limit is reached prior to the start of the tournament for the team.”

By NJSIAA rules, all players who are ejected from a game are suspended for their team”s next two games. The NJSIAA rules and regulations handbook regarding game suspension for players state the following:

“Any student-athlete or coach disqualified before, during or after an interscholastic event for unsportsmanlike and flagrant verbal or physical misconduct will be disqualified from the next two regularly scheduled games/meets, with the exception of football, which will carry a one-game disqualification at that level of competition and all other game(s) or meet(s) in the interim at any level, in addition to any other penalties which the NJSIAA or a league/conference may assess.”

Neither NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko or NJSIAA assistant director Larry White, who oversees baseball for the association, returned a phone call or responded to an email from the Asbury Park Press.

The score was tied 1-1 at the time of the incident.

The two schools are located about two miles apart on Ridge Road.

Red Bank played at Manalapan Saturday afternoon in a Monmouth County Tournament game. It did so with junior varsity and freshman players who were not at the varsity game against Rumson-Fair Haven, Dal Pra said. Manalapan won the game, 7-3.

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