Buhach Colony baseball playoffs postponed after umpire-fan fight stirs investigation

·3 min read

Original report: Fight between the umpire and parents follows end of Buhach Colony-Del Campo playoff game

The Buhach Colony High School playoff baseball game scheduled for Wednesday against Del Campo was postponed while the Sac-Joaquin Section office investigated Monday’s incident where a Buhach Colony parent got into an altercation with an umpire in the parking lot after the game.

“We’re still interviewing people and trying to get all the facts straight before any decisions are made,” said Sac-Joaquin Section Assistant Commissioner Will DeBoard. “Because we are still investigating, tomorrow’s playoff baseball game between Del Campo and Buhach Colony has been postponed.”

Del Campo defeated the Thunder 3-2 on the final play in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first of a best-of-three Division lll Sac-Joaquin Section playoff series in Carmichael.

Video obtained by The Sacramento Bee shows what appears to be Buhach Colony parents confronting an umpire.

The winner of the best-of-three semifinal series advances to the section championship.

“We’re hopeful the continuance of the semifinals series will be concluded in the week with no problems,” DeBoard said.

According to DeBoard, the section office spent Tuesday interviewing school administrators, umpires and other people involved with the incident to gather as much information as possible.

How will the playoff series be completed?

How the series is finished is still to be decided by the section office.

It’s possible the section may decide to have the two teams complete the series at a neutral site.

Another option may be to play the games with no fans in attendance.

“Those things are all in the realm of possibilities,” said Ralph Calderon, the Merced Union High School District deputy superintendent. “I think we’re all familiar enough with athletics to know that emotions run high, but we also want good sportsmanship to be equally as important as being passionate.”

Calderon says the MUHSD office has identified the Buhach Colony fan that was involved in the altercation with the umpire on Monday.

“It is not anything we want to represent MUHSD or (Buhach Colony High School),” Calderon said. “We will take all appropriate actions to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Calderon wouldn’t elaborate on what actions would be taken against the fan.

“We want to be good sports when we win, but we also want to be good sports when we lose,” Calderon said.

Game was played under protest

Another issue the Sac-Joaquin Section is investigating is that Del Campo reportedly held batting practice prior to the game on Monday, which is a violation of Sac-Joaquin Section rules.

According to section rules: “No batting practice is allowed on the field of play.

In all capital letters the Sac-Joaquin Section rules read: “PENALTY: VIOLATION OF THESE ABOVE LISTED RULES MAY RESULT IN A FORFEIT.”

Buhach Colony played Monday’s game under protest and part of the section’s investigation on Tuesday involved Del Campo taking batting practice.

Local reaction

The video of the incident spread like wildfire on social media.

Livingston High baseball coach Matt Winton says in his 29 years he’s been fortunate enough not to witness any similar incidents.

“You see videos of that kind of stuff on social media nationally, but it was jarring to see a video like that in our little area,” Winton said. “Was it surprising to see overall? No, but it was shocking to see something like that from our area.”

The incident is a black eye for high school sports. Especially at a time when it’s tough to find people to referee and umpires to work high school games.

Winton says there were times this year Livingston had to play varsity games with just one umpire and it was difficult finding umpires for lower level games at times.

Incidents like this aren’t going to help. “Not at all,” Winton said. “You have to respect the guys who are umpiring and value what they do. Major League umpires don’t get every call right all the time.”