The victim's father, Brian Rourke, says the family has known the boy for a long time, and doesn't want him to "lose the rest of his life." But Rourke says in a broadcast interview there has to be some punishment for what happened to his son.
Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Rourke died Tuesday after prosecutors say he was hit in the knee and head after a youth league game about 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Rourke and the other boy apparently had words following the first loss of the year for the younger teen's team.
The incident seemed to start innocently enough, by the snack bar, after a Pony League baseball game. Witnesses say Jeremy was needling and shoving the younger player for pitching a losing game when the 13-year-old seemed to snap.
Witness Sam Cordova says, "They were kinda teasing each other, and the next thing you know, the boy pulled out a bat and he kinda hit him once in the side and once up around the neck, and then he just hit him really with tremendous force to the head. …His head just sounded like a pumpkin getting hit with a bat."
Jeremy loved baseball and was known to get into neighborhood fights, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker.
"I was just stunned and I don't know why anybody would do that," says a friend, Trevor Bloom.
The accused youth will be tried as a juvenile because no one under 14 can be tried as an adult in California, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Ron Smalstig.