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High school baseball: Norman North coach says team did not make racially charged comments before brawl

Norman North baseball coach Brian Aylor denied his team made any racially charged comments before a brawl last week in Pensacola, Fla., that ended in a double forfeit. “That's just not who we are,” Aylor said.
by Ryan Aber Published: March 25, 2013
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Norman North baseball coach Brian Aylor denied his team made any racially charged comments before a brawl last week in Pensacola, Fla., that ended in a double forfeit.

“Not once, before the game, during the game or after the game was there any comment about race,” Aylor said Monday. “That's just not who we are.”

Norman North was 3-0 in the 20th Annual Tate Aggie Classic in Pensacola, Fla., playing for third place when the brawl broke out.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jacksonville Arlington Country Day pitcher Jonathan Rodriguez's bases-loaded wild pitch allowed D.J. Gasso to score easily.

But after catcher Brian Navarreto's throw to the plate, Rodriguez applied a late tag, then appeared to slap Gasso in the face with his pitching hand.

Rodriguez was immediately ejected, then Navarreto walked up and punched Gasso in the face, according to the Pensacola News Journal, setting off a brief brawl.

Arlington Country Day coach Ron Dickerson told the paper later that day that Norman North's players were hurling racially charged insults toward his players and to the team's coaches.

The paper said Norman North's bench was warned earlier in the game after insults were hurled.

“In the fourth inning, the umpire came over and said to us, ‘Their coach wants you to stop pointing into their dugout,'” Aylor said.

Aylor said the Norman North bench was pointing toward the dugout after Navarreto made an obscene gesture toward the Timberwolves' side.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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