Opposing teams united in a single cause Tuesday night on a Marin County baseball field.
Marin Catholic went up against Drake High School but the two teams agreed to ditch the metal and instead use wooden bats. The change is in support of Marin's pitcher, Gunnar Sandberg, who was hit in the head by a line drive Thursday during a game against another rival team.
The hitter during last week's game was using a metal bat, which likely contributed to the ball's speed. Onlookers at the game that night estimate the ball was going at least 100 mph when it hit Sandberg, leaving a baseball-shaped skull fracture just above his right ear.
The principals at both schools decided to honor Sandberg at Tuesday night's game and use the wooden bats as a reminder of the dangerous speeds that comes from the metal bat. Parents and coaches got in on the effort and a couple of area sporting goods stores donated the bats.
Sandberg's father, Bjorn, is now on a mission to get carbon fiber bats banned from high school baseball fields. If Marin Catholic opts for wooden bats for the remainder of the season, they will probably have to negotiate with each team, he said.
"The reason why they don't use aluminum bats at the Major League level is because it's just dangerous for the pitcher." Former Major League Baseball pitcher Charles Scott told ABC7 TV. "He's the closest to the batter, he's in a compromising position after he releases the ball."
Surgeons removed a portion of Gunnar Sandberg's skull to give room for swelling without compression. Doctors say he should emerge from his medically induced coma in a few days.