Sacramento State second baseman Andrew Ayers and two UC Riverside players will be suspended for four games each after punches were thrown and benches cleared in the Hornets' baseball home opener Friday at John Smith Field, according to Sac State spokesman Brian Berger.
Ayers, the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior last season, and the Highlanders' Eddie Young and Drake Zarate were ejected after the brouhaha in the third inning of Sac State's 2-1 loss. Under NCAA rules, players ejected for fighting are suspended for four games.
Young was caught in a rundown between second and third base and was tagged out by Ayers.
Based on video on Channel 3 (KCRA), it appears Ayers pushed Young out of his way, and Young retaliated with two punches, the first one hitting Ayers in the jaw.
Hornets third baseman Will Soto Jr. then tackled Young, and players from both benches streamed onto the field.
Zarate's role in the confrontation was unclear.
Dylan Stuart of UC Riverside (2-3) held the Hornets (1-3) to seven hits in a complete game.
Kevin Barker had three hits, including a go-ahead two-run triple in the seventh, and three RBIs, but visiting Utah (2-2) scored five runs over the final two innings for an 11-8 nonconference win over UC Davis (4-2).
Bee Sports staff
Former jockey Volzke dies
Merlin Volzke, a former jockey and California racing official, died at his Sacramento home Thursday night. He was 87. A native of Nebraska, Volzke rode his first winner in 1942 at Mexico's Agua Caliente racetrack, the beginning of a 37-year career.
In 2009, Volzke was the first former rider to receive the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award, presented annually to someone who has served horse racing with "integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction."
Elizabeth Datino scored her 20th career hat trick, but visiting UC Davis lost to third-ranked Florida 16-4 in the Aggies' season opener in women's lacrosse, UCD reported.
Sac State's Kalliah McCartney won the all-around title with 39.325 points as the host Hornets beat UC Davis 194.725-192.825 in gymnastics, UCD reported.
William Jessup placed two basketball players on the All-California Pacific Conference men's first team after winning the league title. Keenan Price of Marysville was the Newcomer of the Year, joined by senior Jordan Wilson of Rocklin. Jessup's Jeff Bussell was named Coach of the Year.
Bee Sports staff