Australian infielder Dylan Rakich has a black eye and Mexican centre-fielder Jonathan Cardona has been sanctioned.
Immediately following Australia’s 5-3 win over Mexico in an extra inning, Cardona nearly started a brawl when he punched Rakich at the 2014 ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Whitehorse Wednesday evening.
A championship tribunal met Thursday morning and gave Cardona a two-game suspension.
Cardona missed his team’s game against Denmark on Thursday, will miss a game against New Zealand today, and could be back on the field Saturday to play in the consolation rounds.
The penalty didn’t sit well with Australia head coach Wayne Saunders.
“In a professional sport you’d be out for a couple of years,” said Saunders. “It’s their decision and I respect that. It is what it is.”
Tempers rose when Cardona bowled over Aussie second baseman David McCaskie as he was tagged for the final out of the game. Rakich was confronting Cardona over the rough play when he was punched.
“It was a bit disappointing way to end the game, but fortunately it didn’t go beyond that and that’s where it stopped,” said Saunders. “It could have been easy for the guys to have got involved, and same with the Mexican team, but I think the umpires did a great job getting between them and breaking it up very quickly.”
The teams went on to shake hands without incident.
Australia needs a win over United States tonight to reach the playoffs while Mexico is out of medal contention and will play the consolation rounds.