Even the ejections reached into double figures Friday night as the Salt Lake Trappers laid another double-digit loss - the third straight with one game left tonight - on the Medicine Hat Blue Jays and left them with 29 losses and just three wins.
The Trappers are now 22-10 after an 11-4, 11-ejection game that turned ugly in the seventh inning when Jays' pitcher Jeff Mooney threw two inside pitches to Jeff Allison, then hit him in the side with a third. Allison dropped his bat and headed to the mound, and both benches - and both bullpens - emptied for a brawl that former Trapper general manager Steve Pearson said was the biggest in the franchise's 31/2 years of play at Derks Field.Jays' Manager Rocket Wheeler had already been ejected in the sixth after a walk to Rick Hurni. He argued with plate umpire Mike Snader, then, after the ejection, he comically came back to kick dirt over home plate before leaving.
In the seventh, the ejections included Trapper Coach Darren Garrick, Trapper players Allison, Randy Moore, Willie Ambos and Lee Carballo, and Blue Jays Juan Jaime, Shawn Scott, Mooney, Todd Embry and Scott Hudson.
Trapper Manager Barry Moss, trying to break things up, was kicked in the throat. "I knew I was going to eat it," he said. "When you go down in the middle, everyone likes to take a cheap shot at the manager." Two Trapper players had cuts - Moore and Chris Sloniger.
"One time, that's baseball," said Allison. "Three times, that's ridiculous." Allison said Snader told him after the first pitch to "watch out, they're throwing at you."
After the second, Allison quoted the umpire as saying the Jays were going after Snader because he'd thrown out Wheeler. "I was the first batter up after that," Allison said.
"Oh, yeah, they tried to throw at him," said Moss, who would rather not have had anything happen after Allison got hit but said he's told his players to back up their teammates. "I don't think when you've got a team beaten by the scores we've beaten them that it's worth going out there. They're going to throw at you sooner or later.
"I don't like it, but I believe we tried to stop and they kept going, and we won't have our fellas backing off," Moss said.
He added, "It's over as far as we're concerned, but we're not going to back down if they throw at us again."
Moss said he's been in worse fights.
The Trappers, who'd had a nine-run first inning Wednesday and won 19-2 and a 13-run seventh inning Thursday and won 14-3, accomplished Friday's score with back-to-back four-run innings in the third and fourth, a single in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
The end result was the first win of the season for Myron "Pops" Gardner, who pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout ball and one inning of four-run, five-hit ball (the fourth). "I was real happy with the way he pitched," said Moss. "He got in trouble early, like usual, but he got out of it."
Following the 20-minute brawl, Michael Gibbons mopped up in the eighth and ninth.
Trapper shortstop Ray Karczewski, pretty much mired in a hitting slump, had a single and a double and drove in three runs in the first three innings, then walked and struck out twice in his final three at-bats.
Karczewski had taken extra batting practice earlier in the day with both Moss and former Trapper Manager Jim Gattis, both hitting instructors. "They worked with me on my stance and making contact. I kind of lost concentration after the brawl," Karczewski said. He struck out in his two final at-bats.
Moss and Karczewski both expect more hitting out of the No. 9 man in the order from now on.