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College Pitcher No Longer With Team After Tackling Runner

Andy Berg
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A junior college pitcher who last week tackled an opposing batter who hit a home run may now be facing expulsion for his actions and is no longer with the team.  

Weatherford College's Owen Woodward came off the mound and violently tackled North Central Texas College's Josh Phillips as he rounded third base after hitting a home run off Woodward. Woodward's hit was hard enough to knock Phillips' helmet off. 

The incident cleared both dugouts and paused the game, as NCTC players piled on Woodward. After things had cleared, Woodward was escorted to the dugout by his catcher. 

Phillips was later ejected for taunting and has now been suspended for two games. Several other players from both teams were suspended for taking part in the ensuing brawl, according to ESPN


After the game Weatherford's athletic department released a statement announcing the school is investigating the incident, noting that Woodward would face disciplinary action that could potentially escalate to expulsion by the Office of Student Services. 

The Weatherford College Police Department is also investigating the incident, according to Yahoo Sports. 

Weatherford head coach Jeff Lightfoot's reaction in a statement:

"We are shocked and disappointed at what happened in our game today," Lightfoot said. "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."

Lightfoot went on to say that the player in question had no previous incidents of any kind.

NCTC released its own statement on the matter: 

“North Central Texas College supports its student athletes and the various athletic programs available at the College. NCTC expects our student athletes to exhibit the highest levels of sportsmanship both on and off the field. The unfortunate events at Weatherford College will be used as a teaching moment for our student athletes to help ensure these incidents do not occur in the future.” Wallace continued “we appreciate the integrity of the Weatherford Administration in communicating with NCTC and will be working in conjunction with them to determine the full extent of this event.”


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