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Cops, Little League International officials called over Texas City game
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By Carol Christian | July 3, 2013 10:14pm
Houston Chronicle

A bat at the center of a Little League controversy between two Houston area teams will be inspected at the organization's Pennsylvania headquarters, local and national officials said.

The bat was used Monday evening in a district championship game in Texas City between two teams of 12-year-old boys - the League City Americans and the Santa Fe All Stars.

League City, which used the bat in question, won the game 8-0, but not before police were called to calm the crowd.

Even before the game started, Santa Fe supporters raised questions about the bat and asked the umpires to inspect it, said Charlie Sweetin, volunteer administrator for Little League District 14, which includes parts of Harris and Galveston counties.

Two of the four umpires have served in Little League World Series games, and a third has earned the right to take part in that series, Sweetin said. "They saw nothing untoward in that inspection and commenced the game," he said.

In the fourth inning, the Santa Fe pitcher threw a fastball, which the League City batter returned with a solid hit, Sweetin said.

Although the pitcher ducked, the ball hit him in the head, and he went down, Sweetin said.

Bonnie Parsutt, grandmother of pitcher Emmett Parsutt Jr., said an ambulance took the youngster to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for testing. "He seems to be fine," she said.

While her grandson was still on the ground, some fans were calling for the game to resume, which Parsutt said bothered her.

"There were two issues," the pitcher's grandmother said. "The bat issue was still going on, and there was non-concern for the child. It really got chaotic for an hour or so."

While the pitcher was being tended to, a Santa Fe coach threw the bat to the ground, cracking the barrel, Sweetin said. With the bat unserviceable, the owner took it to the parking lot to put in his truck. "That was misconstrued as trying to hide something," he said. "Then everything moved to the parking lot. I don't have any idea what was said."

Because emotions were running high, Sweetin said he called Texas City police, to keep the situation from escalating. "When the police came, everyone calmed down."

Sweetin said that as soon as he gets the bat from the owner he would send it by overnight delivery to Little League International in Williamsport, Pa., for testing.

Pat Wilson, senior vice president for operations and program development for the national organization, said the bat was just part of the incident.

"We're trying to gather as much information as possible," Wilson said. "Investigating the actual bat is only part of it."

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