WEATHERFORD, Texas — More than four million people have now viewed the video of an attack on a college baseball player from one of his opponents.
It happened Wednesday afternoon during a double-header, as the Weatherford College Coyotes were ahead in their first game against the North Central Texas College Lions.
The tables turned in the 6th inning of their 7th inning match up when Lions batter Josh Phillips took the plate. The baseball ended up way past left center field, as captured by one of the announcers at the game.
"It's over the fence, it's a two-run home run to give the Lions the lead," the announcer said.
But before the batter could finish rounding the bases, suddenly, you see Weatherford pitcher Owen Woodward leave the mound to launch an attack.
"This is madness," is how Kel Bordwine described the video.
Bordwine knows baseball and all the trash talk that comes along with it, because he himself is a former college baseball pitcher. Bordwine runs the Twitter account Texas College Baseball. After he posted the video of the attack on his page, it went viral within hours.
Bordwine knew right away the non-sportsmanship conduct would cost the player and the team.
"I've never seen a pitcher attack a defenseless runner," Bordwine said. "When I saw this, I was like, there's no way these guys are sacrificing their season. But futures and the sport as well. This is not going to bode well with whoever sees it."
In a statement from Weatherford College baseball coach Jeff Lightfoot he said, "We are shocked and disappointed."
Coach Lightfoot also explained they are embarrassed and apologize to North Central Texas College and the fans of WC baseball. He also talked about the hard work the WC athletic department has put in the baseball program to make it one of the best.
For the safety of the teams, fans and sports staff, the umpires shutdown the game. The video will play a role in the investigation being conducted by the school itself and the Weather College Police Department. Officers have started collecting statements from the players and any other witnesses with information on the attack.
There's no word of the injuries, if any, Phillips suffered during the attack.
As of Thursday afternoon, the video of the incident had 4.6 million views. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported Woodward was suspended for four games, and Phillips was suspended for two games because he was ejected for taunting.
In a Facebook post Thursday night, Weather College announced that Woodward was no longer on the team -- along with other teammates' punishments.
The North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference announced Thursday it also suspended many more from both teams due to the resulting brawl. The league suspended for two games “all team members for NCTC that were in the dugout or bullpen” and any assistant coaches who stepped onto the field. It also suspended four additional Weatherford players and assistant coaches for two games.
If that leaves North Central Texas without enough players for its next two games against Weatherford, it will have to forfeit, the league said. Both teams were ordered to forfeit the game that was stopped.
NCTC sent WFAA the following statement on Friday:
North Central Texas College (“NCTC” or “College”) is complying with an ongoing investigation by Weatherford College, local law enforcement, and the National Junior College Athletic Association (“NJCAA”) pursuant to the altercation at the Wednesday, April 20, 2022, baseball game between NCTC and Weatherford College. NCTC has provided assistance and will continue to support its student-athletes involved and/or injured as part of the incident at Weatherford College.
The College is aware of the conference ruling planned two (2) game suspension imposed upon NCTC pursuant to the altercation, and plans to appeal any such suspension or other disciplinary action levied upon NCTC’s program and its student-athletes in accordance with the NJCAA Handbook or applicable NJCAA Policy Manual.
NCTC will continue to cooperate with the NJCAA and Weatherford College as the investigation continues, and will follow the appropriate appeal process if necessary. No further comment from NCTC will be provided during the pendency of this investigation and/or appeal.