Update at 9:33 p.m. April 3:
Athletic Director Brad Teague released a statement Thursday stating, “The University of Central Arkansas athletics department regrets the incident that occurred during Wednesday night’s baseball game between the Bears and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans at Bear Stadium. We realize there is no place in collegiate athletics for such an incident.”
Three UCA players, four UALR players and an assistant coach were suspended Thursday after a bench-clearing brawl involving both teams Wednesday night during the UCA – UALR baseball game at Bear Stadium.
According to a UCA news release, UCA’s junior infielder Nate Ferrell and sophomore catcher Brandon Montalvo were given four-game suspensions. Assistant coach Trent Kline also received a four-game suspension. Sophomore infielder Matt Anderson was given an eight-game suspension.
Also stated in the release is the four-game suspensions of three UALR players and the eight-game suspension of another player. The names of those suspended were not released.
Multiple audience videos show UCA Coach Allen Gum and UALR Coach Scott Norwood began arguing near home plate during the 10th inning.
Prior to the argument, UCA freshman outfielder Carson Dowdle was hit by UALR Junior Tanner Rockwell’s pitch according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. This was the second time during the game that Dowdle was hit, and the fourth instance that a UCA player was plunked by a UALR pitch.
With a tied score of 4-4 sophomore infielder Lee Raley pitch-ran for Dowdle and stole second base. Raley was then called back to first because it appeared to officials that Montalvo’s swing “interfered with UALR catcher Drew Merten.”
The coaches began arguing after Raley’s return and players from both teams soon joined the argument which escalated. UCA personnel who were not players or coaches can be seen on video attempting to intervene and breakup the brawl.
Gum, Norwood and UALR pitcher Chad Bradford were ejected from the game which was delayed for about 20 minutes.
At a press conference Norwood called the events of Wednesday night “an embarassment to the university” at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
“This type of behavior sets a bad example for the student-athletes and fans, and I regret that this happened,” Norwood said.