Teams from Canada, Mexico engage in fierce brawl during WBC game

PHOENIX – A fierce brawl in which several players threw nasty punches erupted Saturday in the ninth inning of Canada’s 10-3 romp over Mexico in a World Baseball Classic game. The melee also involved fans.

Multiple fights broke out after Canada’s Rene Tosoni was hit in the back by a pitch from Arnold Leon with the score 9-3.

After the fisticuffs ended, Canada’s pitching coach, Denis Boucher, was hit in the face by a full water bottle thrown from the crowd. Canada shortstop Cale Iorg angrily threw the bottle back into the crowd.

Just as the game resumed, someone in the crowd hurled a baseball that almost hit Canada first-base coach Larry Walker in the head.

Several police officers came onto the field trying to restore order, and there were a few skirmishes in the crowd of 19,581.

A bunt single by Chris Robinson in the ninth added to already existing tension – a WBC tiebreaker relies heavily on runs. Third baseman Luis Cruz fielded the bunt and seemed to tell Leon to hit a batter.

Leon, Alfredo Aceves, Eduardo Arredondo and Oliver Perez of Mexico, and Tosoni, Pete Orr and Jay Johnson of Canada were ejected.

Later in the day, the U.S. got a grand slam from David Wright and beat Italy 6-2. The American team’s Shane Victorino, a St. Anthony High School graduate, did not play.