Juco pitcher tackles hitter on basepaths after HR

    Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com since 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.

A Texas junior college pitcher leveled a hitter who had just hit a home run during a game between Weatherford College and North Central Texas College on Wednesday.

In the top of the sixth inning of a seven-inning matchup, NCTC’s Josh Phillips hit the go-ahead home run and rounded the bases, celebrating with his third-base coach. Pitcher Owen Woodward, a 6-3, 195-pound sophomore, threw his glove down and sprinted toward Phillips, crushing him just as he turned and saw Phillips.

It’s not clear what caused Woodward’s reaction. Neither school could be reached for comment, but Weatherford issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

“We are shocked and disappointed at what happened in our game today,” Jeff Lightfoot, Weatherford’s baseball coach, said in a statement. “We do not condone this type of behavior. We have worked hard to build a program with the highest of standards. We are completely embarrassed by this incident, and we apologize to North Central Texas College and the fans of WC baseball. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated.”

The school said it is investigating the incident.

“The WC student in question will face potential disciplinary action from the Office of Student Services up to and possibly including expulsion,” the school said. “The Weatherford College Police Department is also investigating the incident and has taken statements.”

Lightfoot said that Woodward had not had any previous incidents.

Umpires suspended the game after the tackle and ensuing brawl. The game was the first in a scheduled four-game series.

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