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Jersey City Informer
JERSEY CITY, NJ - A bench-clearing brawl is not the most unusual or shameful occurrence in a professional baseball game. But when you're the hapless Jersey City Snakes, you find a way to make it one.
Mired in an epic 25-game losing streak, Jersey City's boys of slumber took on the Brooklyn Cyclones last night at Hertz Stadium. A faithful crown of 417 cheered on the Snakes as they took a 4-4 tie into the ninth inning and it looked as if the drought might come to an end.
Closer Jimmy Brisnehan, who hit seven batters and one fan in his last stint, showed remarkable control as he mowed down the Cyclones in order. In the bottom half of the frame, leadoff man Jake Banks reached on a single, bringing Ladell Pitts to the plate. On a 3-2 count, Pitts lifted a fastball deep into the right field bleachers for the game-winning home run.
But this is Snakes baseball.
As Pitts started to circle the bases, Banks, astoundingly, refused to move from first, standing with his hands on hips, glaring at Pitts.
It was later revealed the Banks and several teammates had exchanged words with the flamboyant centerfielder before the game, taking issue with Pitts' insistence on traveling by limousine to the independent, single-A league games.
When Pitts reached first, Banks pushed him away, unwilling to let Pitts claim the game-winning heroics. Pitts responded with a fist to Banks' jaw. That's when the Snakes distinguished themselves yet again, this time with the first ever single-team bench-clearing brawl.
As the Snakes piled on one another with fists flying, an incredulous team manager, Kenny Quasebarth, signaled for help - from the visiting team. When the Cyclones finally managed to extricate the players, Pitts has a broken nose, third baseman Andy Nagel had a deep cut in his cheek courtesy of first baseman Billy Ray Mix's cleats. Banks appeared to have teeth marks on his arm.
After the game, which the Snakes lost 12-4 in ten innings, Quasebarth raised the bar for understatement when he rubbed his forehead and told reporters, "We've just got to turn this thing around and score some more runs."
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