Georgia high school fined after ump is hit by pitch FOXSports.com Updated: June 5, 2008, 7:36 AM EST The Georgia High School Association has fined a school $1,000 for an incident in the state playoffs last weekend in Cartersville, Ga. In the fourth inning of Saturday s deciding game of the Class AAA championship series, Stephens County catcher Matt Hill ducked and did not attempt to catch a pitch that struck the home plate umpire, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Stephens coach Mark Gosnell said Hill and pitcher Cody Martin denied plotting to hit the umpire, who was not hurt, and said the passed ball during a 13-1 loss to Cartersville was a result of a signaling mix-up. But GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin believed otherwise after viewing video of the play. "I made my decision primarily by watching whether the catcher tracked the pitch with his eyes," he told the paper. "In my opinion, he did not. I think that he would have been searching for the ball if it were a matter of being crossed up." Stephens County principal David Friend said he thought the ruling, which included placing the baseball program on "severe warning status," was fair. "I told (Swearngin) that I thought we deserved it," Friend said. "We had the opportunity to be on a big stage, in a state championship series, and we had several players who didn t represent school way I think they should have. Not just that pitch, but the overall behavior." In the half inning prior to the beaning, shortstop Ethan Martin argued with the plate umpire and threw his helmet after becoming the ninth straight Stephens batter to strike out. Two batters later, Cody Martin, Ethan s younger brother, threw the pitch that hit the umpire. Hill, the catcher, dropped to his knees and ducked as the ball approached. As part of the penalty, Gosnell and his assistants must complete a sportsmanship education program.