Winthrop baseball player accused of assaulting roommate

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comApril 22, 2013 

Michael Gilroy

— A Winthrop University baseball player has been suspended indefinitely after police say he assaulted his roommate during an argument, sending the 20-year-old student to the hospital with a concussion and “offset” teeth Sunday.

Michael Thomas Gilroy, 20, a sophomore pitcher who studies sports management and earned All-State honors in two consecutive years in high school, spent the night in the Rock Hill jail before he was released Monday morning on a more than $1,000 bond. He was charged with third degree assault and battery.

According to a Winthrop Police report, the victim, also a sports management student, returned from a trip out of town to find his white dress shirt on a chair with a stain on it from a “condiment” in the on-campus apartment he shares with Gilroy, a Columbia native, and a third student, also 20.

The victim said he got upset with both his roommates for not cleaning the shirt, and became more upset when he found that his Playstation 3 game system had been removed from his room while he was out of town, the report states.

He confronted his roommates, according to the report, leading to a heated argument. While arguing, Gilroy is accused of getting off the couch and punching the man in the face.

The student said Gilroy punched him a second time before he left the room, the report states. Once police were called, officers noticed blood on Gilroy’s left knuckles. EMS took the victim to Piedmont Medical Center, where he was treated for a concussion, “offset teeth” and bruising.

Gilroy confirmed the victim’s accounts of the argument, but said the victim lifted up a chair and slammed it to the ground, the report states. Gilroy told police the victim pulled his fist back to punch him, so he punched the victim first in self-defense.

While speaking with officers, Gilroy turned to his other roommate and asked, “that was self-defense, right?”

Officers spoke with the third roommate, who said the victim didn’t try to hit Gilroy and only Gilroy threw punches, the report states.

The victim decided to stay off-campus until alternative living arrangements could be made, the report states. Gilroy will be referred to the university’s judiciary committee

Gilroy didn’t pitch this season, according to Winthrop baseball statistics. In 2009 and 2010, he earned All-State honors while a student at Brookland-Cayce High School in Cayce. He was named the second-best player and 19th best player overall in South Carolina, and considered one of the best left-handed pitcher in the state, according to Diamond Prospects, the state’s self-acclaimed foremost baseball scouting service.

During his freshman year in college, he played in 17 games, garnering a 1-2 record with a 6.20 earned run average, which measures the effectiveness of a baseball pitcher.

Gilroy, who attended the university on scholarship, had been on a “medical hardship” leave from the team after undergoing a surgery, said Eagles baseball head coach Tom Riginos. He was still in town while the rest of the team played against Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Officials decided to suspend Gilroy on Monday.

“We do have team policies; Michael has broken a team policy and that’s why he’s been indefinitely suspended from the team,” Riginos said.

Riginos would not elaborate on those policies. The team, currently in the midst of its season, is 15-27 overall. They’re scheduled to play Wake Forest at 6 p.m. today at the Winthrop Ballpark.

“We still have a lot of baseball games left,” Riginos said. “We’re just going to deal with it...that’s why he’s suspended indefinitely.

“We’re going to keep on competing and doing things that we have to do and see the improvement that the students make,” he added.

He declined to comment further.

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