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Coach Suggests Ejected Player Be Suspended

April 03, 2001|ERIC SONDHEIMER

Accusations and recriminations from Friday's emotional baseball game between Poly and San Fernando continued Monday, with San Fernando Coach Armando Gomez contending that Poly's Zack Sims-Jones should be suspended for the season for running into first baseman Jesus Martinez.

Martinez has a broken collarbone and is out six to eight weeks after the first-inning collision, in which Sims-Jones was running out a pop-up. Umpires ejected Sims-Jones after the play.

Gomez said he feels Sims-Jones purposely ran into Martinez and should be punished beyond having to sit out a game, as required by an ejection.

Poly Coach Chuck Schwal called the collision "unfortunate," but does not believe it was malicious.

"Zack was running at full speed," Schwal said. "For him to avoid [the collision] was near impossible. I can see why San Fernando is upset, but it was not done on purpose."

Martinez, a senior who's a straight-A student, suffered convulsions after the collision and paramedics were called. He attended school Monday.

Later in the Birmingham tournament game won by San Fernando, 4-2, Tiger pitcher Abraham Gonzalez, a former Poly student, hit Eddie Baeza in the head with a fastball. Baeza spent the night at two hospitals having X-rays that proved negative.

Players and coaches from both schools have been involved in a heated rivalry since several Poly players transferred to San Fernando last year.

The coaches met before the game and tried to smooth over any differences. Afterward, Schwal said it was a mistake to play the game because players involved in the controversy were participating.

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