Players confront fans in stands in game on Montclair State campus
By LAUREN PEACOCK
for Montclair Local
Players from the Sussex County Miners and New Jersey Jackals made their way into the stands in a confrontation with spectators last Thursday.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. at Yogi Berra Stadium on the Montclair State University campus, school spokesman Andrew Mees said. He said fans were throwing beer at the Miners in the dugout.
“The players then began going into the stands to stop them. By the time university police arrived, players were already moving back into the dugout and Jackals personnel were in the process of ejecting several fans from the stadium,” Mees wrote in an email to Montclair Local.
There were no reports of injuries and no complaints filed to MSU, Mees said.
University police remained on the scene until the game was over and all fans had left the premises, he said.
Jesse Liptzin had been sitting along the first base line when he witnessed the incident.
“It was $1 Beer Night, and all game the fans were talking to the Miner players and being really mean about it,” Liptzin said. “The fans were ruthless, calling players names, and the players were talking right back to them, so it just escalated.”
Liptzin said he saw a fan pour a beer into the Miners’ dugout, and that “was when I saw a couple of players on their team jump into the stands.”
He said the confrontations were broken up in a matter of minutes.
Mees said Montclair State University police and Jackals personnel helped calm down the crowd and players so they could finish playing the game.
Barstool Sports blogger Frank Fleming, otherwise known as “Frank the Tank,'' was invited to throw out the first pitch at the game and was judging a hotdog eating contest while the fight broke out. Barstool Sports videographer TJ Hitchings tweeted a video of the fight as well.
“Just a wild scene, but again you never know what you'll see at an Indy league game,” writer ‘RDT’ wrote in a blog post on barstoolsports.com. “If only we could have had Frank there to break it all up and stop the fight, be the ultimate peace keeper. .... TJ also told me that ‘Tank is here so people are feeling loose.’ That is an excuse you have to love.”