Texas JUCO pitcher faces possible expulsion after tackling baserunner

Baseball in the Grass
Posted at 10:35 AM, Apr 21, 2022

WEATHERFORD, Texas — A junior college pitcher in Texas is facing possible expulsion from school for tackling a baserunner who hit a home run off of him.

The moment, which was captured on video, happened Wednesday during the sixth inning in a game between Weatherford College and North Central Texas College, the Associated Press reported.

According to ESPN, North Central Texas College player Josh Phillips hit a go-ahead homer off Weatherford pitcher Owen Woodward. As Phillips is rounding third base, Woodward, a 195-pound sophomore, runs off the mound and tackles Phillips.

Phillips' teammates immediately rush out of their dugout to peel Woodward off of him.

It wasn't immediately clear why Woodward tackled Phillips or if anyone was injured.

Umpires suspended the game.

Weatherford issued a statement following the incident, saying the school was investigating what happened and that Woodward could be expelled.

The school's police department is also investigating the incident.

“We are shocked and disappointed at what happened in our game today,” Weatherford coach Jeff Lightfoot 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.”

North Central Texas College Chancellor Brent Wallace also issued a statement, saying he hopes 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.”

On Thursday, the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference announced that Phillips, Woodward, NCTC players and coaches, four Weatherford players, and assistant coaches were all suspended two games for what occurred Wednesday, the AP reported.

The AP reported that the teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday.