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Coach to press charges

By Ken K. Green Lamar County High School head baseball coach Greg Williams plans to press simple assault charges against an umpire who struck him in the face Monday night at Aldora Field during a game between the Diamond Trojans and Crawford County. With the Eagles leading 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Trojans had a runner on second with one out and Ryan Lovick at the plate with a no ball, one strike count. After wildly swinging at what appeared to be a pitch out of the strike zone, Lovick’s teammates in the dugout chided him not to swing at bad pitches. Lovick responded by yelling back at them he had to swing because the umpire would call it a strike anyway. The umpire, who has been identified as Irwin Croyle of Hampton who officiates for Central Georgia Baseball Association based in McDonough, ejected Lovick for what he had said and coach Williams approached him from his third base coaching box to get an explanation. Williams remained relatively calm while the umpire yelled at him, eventually ejecting the coach as well. The two men eventually were nose-to-nose and the umpire drew back and struck Coach Williams, open-handed, in the head causing his cap and sunglasses to fly. Williams stood stunned as players and fans rushed the field in his defense. “As I picked up my cap and glasses he (Croyle) said to me ‘that’s what you get boy’.” Alledgedly, some of the Lamar players physically confronted the umpire and had to be restrained. School superintendent Dr. Bill Truby and high school principal Derick Austin were in attendance and also went onto the field in an attempt to restore order. Law enforcement was called in and no less than three squad cars showed up. Officers escorted both Croyle and Coach Williams to the parking lot for questioning. The final result of the ball game is up in the air and the Georgia High School Association will have to decide what action to take as far as completing the ball contest and punishing those involved in the incident. If the GHSA upholds the ejections, both Williams and Lovick will be suspended for two games. Lamar’s next two games are a home doubleheader against Greene County next Tuesday. In a worst case scenario, more players, possibly the entire team, could be deemed ejected from Monday’s game for leaving the bench area and would also be suspended for the Greene County doubleheader causing the Trojans to forfeit the two games and probably eliminating them from a state playoff berth.

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