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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/02/2007

The Brawling Potomac Nats

I'm still waiting for someone to provide the definitive account of how a game-ending double-play ball in the ninth inning of a Class A baseball game last week wound up sending two players to the hospital because of brawl-related injuries, one with a concussion "due to a severe blow to the head" and the other with "hairline fractures to the vertebrates in the lower portion of his back." In the meantime, a brief summary.

1) The P-Nats were playing the Winston-Salem Warthogs. According to the P-Nats site: "Tempers had flared earlier in the game as [WS 2B Victor] Mercedes and Brandon Powell exchanged words after Powell was tagged out trying to steal second in the fourth inning of the game." When guys are getting chippy after an unsuccessful stolen base attempt, you know trouble is brewing.

2) The Winston-Salem Journal sets the scene. Top of the ninth, one out, grounder back to the mound, pitcher throws to Mercedes at second, where the runner (Potomac's Matt Rogelstad) is charged with interference. Game over.

3) The paper goes on:

When Mercedes got up, he charged Rogelstad and landed a roundhouse punch. That's when the dugouts and bullpens emptied in a free for all that lasted nearly two minutes. While both teams' managers and coaches were trying to restore order, the police finally stepped in between the teams near second base.

4) Brian Peacock, a Potomac catcher, was coaching first base at the time, according to the Potomac News. He's the one that wound up with the hairline fractures in his back. The Warthogs site says "numerous punches were thrown," and that the brawl lasted more than 10 minutes. There was ominous talk about what might happen when the teams met again this week.

5) After the Nats put out a release, the injuries moved over the AP wire: Peacock out at least a month, and pitcher Clint Everts concussed, causing him to miss a start. He's scheduled to make his first post-fight appearance tonight. Mercedes was suspended for three games. The Potomac News reported that he was also fined $150. The teams played the past two nights in Woodbridge, with no apparent incidents. The first game featured extra police officers and the Carolina League president. Also, presumably, Uncle Slam, the team's "Director of Fun."

By  |  11:00 AM ET, 05/02/2007

Categories:  Minor League Baseball

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