Two players in LLWS game taken to hospital

Updated: August 21, 2006, 1:20 AM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Lemont, Ill., outfielder Austin Mastela was taken to a hospital after being beaned by a pitch during the second inning of a Little League World Series game Sunday night.

Mastela was struck on the ear hole of his helmet by a delivery from Staten Island's Joe Calabrese. Mastela, 12, winced in pain as he stumbled to the ground. He rubbed the side of his head and was immediately attended to by trainers who examined the back of his neck.

After being replaced by a pinch-runner, Mastela sat on the bench and leaned his head onto an ice pack. He was taken to Williamsport Hospital about 15 minutes later.

Two innings later, Staten Island shortstop Chris Goetz also was taken to the hospital after he injured his right leg during a play at the plate.

Both players had been treated and released, a nursing supervisor said early Monday.

Lemont manager Mike Hall said Mastela had bleeding and swelling near the back of his ear and was sent to the hospital for more tests. Part of Mastela's ear turned purple, he said.

"As he started to get up he said he wanted to go back in. He's a really hard-nosed kid," Hall said after his team's 1-0 victory. "Then he just said, 'Coach, I can't go.'"

Mastela was replaced by pinch-runner Zak Katsulis, his cousin.

Calabrese walked off the mound to check on Mastela after throwing the pitch, then was patted on the back by teammates as he returned to his position.

Goetz was hurt after leading off the bottom of the fourth with a walk and advancing to third. Robert Ortiz dropped a bunt that was fielded by Lemont pitcher David Hearne, who threw to catcher Zack Soria. Goetz appeared to jam his leg during a slide into Soria, who blocked the plate and made the tag for the out.

Goetz had to be helped off the field by coaches.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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