Two men face felony beat each other with baseball bats in fight over Little League

Published 10:10 p.m. PDT Saturday, April 13, 2002

TULELAKE, Calif. (AP) - Two men arguing about Little League wound up in the hospital after slugging each other with a baseball bat, and each now faces felony assault charges, police said Saturday.

Gary Fensler, 39, of Tulelake and Bill Burrier, 37, of Newell will face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and Fensler will face an additional battery charge, said Sgt. Craig Dilley of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.

The argument erupted after Fensler showed up at Burrier's work Friday to protest the shifting of players to various Little League teams in the area so that all batters would hit the ball from pitchers instead of off tees, according to league leaders.

Burrier was Tulelake's Little League president, and both men have children who play baseball.

Fensler allegedly punched Burrier in the face with his fist. Burrier then allegedly went to his pickup truck, grabbed a baseball bat and hit Fensler. The two struggled and Fensler eventually grabbed the bat and struck Burrier, witnesses told police.

Both men were treated and released from Merle West Medical Center. Fensler suffered a broken jaw in the scuffle, said his mother, Frances Fensler. Both men quit Little League at a board of directors meeting Friday night. Burrier was replaced as president by Will Baley.

"They are both good, community-minded men who made some bad decisions in a heated moment," Baley said. "The whole point is to have kids play baseball."