Skip to comments.BYU brawl caps off New Mexico series
Posted on 04/30/2011 5:23:10 PM PDT by Colofornian
Matthew Neil deserved better.
He should have been the center of attention. The talk of the town.
Instead, the talk following BYU's 1-0 win over New Mexico on Saturday afternoon was about an ugly post-game brawl that erupted just before both teams were preparing for the customary post-game handshake.
It was a shame the talk couldn't center on BYU's best pitching performance of the year. Neil's complete game shutout was the first time a BYU pitcher had thrown a shutout at Miller Field in three years, and it was the first complete-game shutout Neil had pitched since Little League. But following the game both BYU coach Vance Law and New Mexico coach Ray Birmingham were summoned to meet with umpires and review video tape to see who threw punches.
The result was BYU pitcher Blake Torgerson and New Mexico shortstop Quay Grant have been suspended. The length of their suspension is still pending.
"It's unfortunate that the ninth inning ended and there was some blows thrown, but they had each other's back, they were protecting each other," Law said. "I don't condone the fact that there were punches thrown, but at the same time they're going to defend their teammates. I feel like it was provoked from the other side."
The brawl had been simmering for much of the three-game series. New Mexico won the first two games and were enjoying their victories verbally, asking BYU if Jimmer Fredette could hit a 3-run homer for them.
"My office is right where they (New Mexico) walk through (after the game). I could hear comments they were saying to some of the family who wait outside my door for their players to come out, saying we needed to have Fredette today to hit a 3-pointer. That fired our guys up," Law said. "I say this a little bit conservatively, but at the same time that even though we're a Christian school there's nothing wrong with competing. You can't get pushed around. As long as we play hard within the rules, there's nothing wrong with that."
In the ninth inning, the tension mounted when BYU's Austin Hall threw John Twitchell out at home. Twitchell and BYU catcher Wes Guenther exchanged words and had to be separated by the umpires.
After the game ended BYU's Chris Capper exchanged heated words with Grant, who delivered a two-handed shove to Capper and then it was on.
Both teams rushed to the action near first base where the gloves came off and multiple punches where thrown.
The brawl followed a brilliant pitching performance from both Neil and New Mexico's Richard Wilson, who went the distance, striking out seven and giving up just three hits.
BYU didn't have a hit until the fourth inning when Dillon Robinson broke up the no-no with an infield single. Ryan Bernal followed with a triple off the wall in left field to put the Cougars up 1-0.
New Mexico threatened in the eighth. Sam Wilson reached base on an infield single and Kyle Stiner followed with a single to right. Wilson took third, but right fielder, Jaycob Brugman unleashed his cannon and pointed it towards third. Robinson caught Brugman's throw on a fly, but it wasn't in time.
Robinson fired a strike to Dane Nielsen at second base where to get a diving Stiner, who tried to advance on the throw.
With the infield in, Neil got exactly what he needed, a ground ball right at Andrew Law at shortstop. He held the runner then threw to first. Law then checked the Cougars out of the inning when he leaped up and grabbed a line drive off the bat of Mitch Garver to keep the Lobos off the board.
"It feels like it's been 10 games since we've won. I know it's only been a couple, but we just haven't played the way I expected us to offensively. Matthew Neil stepped in and did an unbelievable job," Vance Law said. "I'm very proud of him throwing a complete game shutout. That doesn't happen very often with metal bats."
The win helped BYU salvage the series with New Mexico and even its conference record at 7-7. New Mexico dropped to 7-8 in conference play.
Neil improved his record to 4-2 on the year. He fanned six and walked just one and lowered his ERA to 1.49 on the year.
"I don't know what it was, cold day or what, but I couldn't grip my slider in the first few innings so we started going with the curveball. I'm lucky I have two breaking ball pitches to go to," Neil said. "In the seventh inning it came back and that's what a got a couple strikeouts with in the seventh inning. It was good to have the slider back late in the game."
The Cougars will play at Washington State on Monday and Tuesday before returning home to host TCU, the conference leader in a crucial series that begins on Thursday.
From the article: New Mexico won the first two games and were enjoying their victories verbally, asking BYU if Jimmer Fredette could hit a 3-run homer for them.
From the article: In the ninth inning, the tension mounted when BYU's Austin Hall threw John Twitchell out at home. Twitchell and BYU catcher Wes Guenther exchanged words and had to be separated by the umpires. After the game ended BYU's Chris Capper exchanged heated words with Grant, who delivered a two-handed shove to Capper and then it was on.
Punch throwers. (Criminal assault outside of a baseball field). Plus a couple of other BYU players exchanging heated words? (Not very becoming for "gods-in-embryo")
From the article: "I don't condone the fact that there were punches thrown,...even though we're a Christian school there's NOTHING WRONG with competing. You can't get pushed around. As long as we play hard within the rules, there's nothing wrong with that."
Hmm...'Nothing wrong' -- per the BYU coach -- with one of his players throwing a punch or two or three or four and getting suspended? 'Nothing wrong' with two other BYU players getting into heated exchanges with players leading to the fight?
So here you have a BYU coach talking out of both sides of his mouth -- saying he doesn't condone it, but then condoning it, after all!
We'll see if the Lds general authorities sanction all of that as well.
And BYU is a 'Christian' school? (That's news to me...I guess that makes fundamentalist Mormons just as "Mormon" as any other "Mormon").
Well, let's see here. I don't see any BYU faithful arguing that this BYU pitcher should not have been suspended for his firsticuffs.
So if you're going to draw a parallel to Christ and the money-changers, then had Jesus been suspended for his temple actions, you think that would have been justified as well?
You'll see that the MWC suspended FOUR BYU players; reprimanded a fifth BYU player -- its catcher -- for provoking New Mexico players. Plus it reprimanded the BYU coach for his public comments.
(I guess in light of your earlier temple moneychanger comparison, Warlord, you'd be in favor of Jesus getting publicly reprimanded for provoking the moneychangers...for getting suspended, etc.???)
Spoken like a true PC liberal transplant to CO from CA. I’ve played in various athletic sports and can attest that testerone, words and actions can lead to physical confrontation. It’s NORMAL. Get used to it! Everyone who plays the game doesn’t get a trophy, like the nanny-staters think is best so that their feelings don’t get hurt.
Your bashing of Mormons wasn’t necessary, as there are plenty of other freepers here that do that.
I’m not a church goer, though I was raised as a Methodist. I just don’t appreciate all of the Mormon haters who treat them like they are devil worshipers. The haters are one of the main reasons that Romney didn’t get more support in ‘08.
Maybe if Romney were a better Mormon I could support him, as he is now he won't take a stand for any moral principles, Mormon, generic Christian or other.
He is just another Massachusetts politician, maybe slightly to the right but not enough to matter.
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