Little League team sidelined by violent onlooker

Jake Whalen bats for Yucca Red as they play Yucca Grey Monday afternoon at the Tri-Valley Little League park.

YUCCA VALLEY — A tournament game in Desert Hot Springs between two Tri-Valley Little League all-star teams, Yucca Red and Yucca Gray, ended suddenly Saturday when an adult affiliated with a Banning all-star team punched Richard Bradshaw, head coach of Yucca Red, in the face.

“I got knocked out,” Bradshaw said. “The whole team saw.”

Both Yucca Valley teams decided to leave the field and travel back to Yucca Valley. The game was supposed to be the first round of a double-elimination tournament that would decide the district champion. At the time, Bradshaw said the teams didn’t know if their decision would disqualify them from continuing in the tournament.

After speaking with the district office, the teams got another chance to play on Monday at Olympic Field in Yucca Valley.

“I’m really glad we got to play,” Bradshaw said. “I didn’t want the kids to be afraid to play baseball.”

Yucca Grey and Yucca Red were evenly matched in game-play on Monday afternoon, keeping the score tight until the final inning, when Yucca Red pulled ahead and won 8-7.

“We just kept matching each other,” Bradshaw said.“It was 7-7 in the sixth and we held Yucca Grey when they were up at bat.”

Landon Bradshaw came up and hit one to the fence, Bradshaw said, scoring the team’s winning point.

Also scoring for the team was Talon Westover, who was awarded the game ball for two great hits, said Bradshaw, and Liam Beck, who hit a home run in the first inning.

After securing the win, Yucca Red was scheduled to move on with the tournament for a shot at the district championship and a chance to compete at state, but Bradshaw pulled the team out of the tournament after finding out from the district office that Banning Green would be competing.

A worker at the West Region Little League Office, which oversees local district offices, said they would look into the incident and provide a press release “soon.”

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