O'Such's cheap shot is black eye for Yavapai College
By now, I'm sure most of you have seen the video of former Yavapai College baseball player Austin O'Such blindsiding and essentially running over an unsuspecting Scottsdale Community College player during a March 31 regular-season game at Roughrider Park in Prescott.
If not, you can see the video by clicking here.
Everyone knows that fights and brawls occasionally occur during baseball games, as well as many other sports, but O'Such's cheap shot was unprecedented, malicious and likely an event the red-shirt freshman will regret for the rest of his life.
His attack on the opposing player warranted a season-long suspension, and he will never wear a Yavapai uniform again, according to the Yavapai College athletics department.
"It's appalling to say the least," YC head coach Sky Smeltzer said about O'Such's actions. "It's inexcusable. It's shocking. It's the same emotion that everyone else has when they see it (the video)."
The Scottsdale player O'Such ran into didn't sustain any injuries and Scottsdale Community College Sports Information Director Will Worosylla said Monday via telephone that, "He's fine and at this point this is the only comment we are making on the incident."
It should also be noted that no charges will be filed against O'Such.
The initial confrontation that eventually led to O'Such running into the opposing player near second base, started when a Scottsdale player, who was running down the first-base line, took exception to a high, hard tag by Yavapai's Ryan Wagner. The situation escalated and players from both teams then had to be separated in the infield.
Roughrider coach Smeltzer didn't see the cheap shot live, but he did see the video after the fact.
"Quite frankly, in the whole thing, I really never saw what happened," Smeltzer said. "The Scottsdale coaches were accusing our centerfielder of doing something. After the home plate meeting, I had Austin and Ryan Wagner go home immediately and then we didn't see anything or know what really happened until later."
Smeltzer talked to O'Such after the game and the freshman was ashamed by what he had done.
"Obviously Austin is embarrassed and upset by his actions, not because his season is over, but because he's embarrassed of how he reacted and the situation," Smeltzer said.
The incident is a black eye for a traditionally clean and successful YC baseball program. O'Such was lucky his cheap shot didn't seriously hurt the Scottsdale player he ran into. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned by the rest of the Roughrider baseball team and to other players around the country who saw the video.