A high school baseball game in San Angelo, Texas, took an ugly turn after the catcher for Brady High School and a runner for Sonora High School collided near the middle infield.
Brady’s reserve catcher, Gonzalo Morales, who normally plays shortstop and is 5-7, 140 pounds, had allowed a called infield fly to drop just off the grass between second and third base. He picked up the ball to tag the runner who was trying to advance to third. The runner, Hunter Bunch, who is 6-3, 185 pounds, did not try to avoid the tag but rather lowered his shoulder and collided with Morales.
“He hit my player so hard it stopped him dead in his tracks. He fell down and he didn’t move for a while,” Brady head coach, Rocky Bernal, who is also Morale’s uncle, told GoSanAngelo.com. “He’s a tough kid and if he knew there was a blow fixing to happen, he would have secured himself, but it was just a cheap shot and a dirty play.”
Bernal had to argue for an ejection of Bunch, which was eventually granted.
Bernal said he was incensed by the lack of remorse from the opposing bench, as no apologies were issued, and still hadn’t been three days after the incident.
“What got me — and I’m not trying to get unprofessional here — but the other coaches had no remorse,” Bernal said. “It bothered me they wanted to point fingers, and point fingers, when they should have been taking care of their own players.
Morales was unconscious for several minutes following the play as a medical crew attended to him. He was later diagnosed with mTBI — a mild traumatic brain injury. In the days following the incident, he was also experiencing tingling sensations in one or both of his arms, and that is also being addressed by those in charge of his medical care.
Bernal is now asking for Bunch to be suspended from play as long as Morales is out.
“It wasn’t an ejection immediately and that’s why I came unglued,” said Bernal, who noted that his athletic director was present and attempted to control Bernal, who was arguing with the umpire.
“The collision happened maybe four or five yards from the base. He wasn’t even close. It’s not like he doesn’t know how to play the game. His was an intent to harm the player. I can’t stand for that,” Bernal said.
Brady will travel to Sonora in a couple of weeks, and Bernal said he would like to see an apology and ensure that Bunch is not the lineup for that game.
“I might be able to accept an apology,” Bernal said, “but there needs to be something done about it. I’ll be fine with going to Sonora in a couple of weeks and him not being in the lineup."