Nearly 2,000 attend homestand

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 4, 2002

This weekend, the Selma Cloverleafs proved themselves. The players have already gone through the crucible of tryouts and the draft, but at opening weekend, they proved their importance to the community as well as their ability to win.

After the dust settled from the hectic opening weekend, Noopie Cosby of the Cloverleafs Management Group gathered his thoughts about how things went.

“We were just very satisfied in general,” said Cosby. “We were pleased with the turnout, and we were satisfied with the team play.”

The turnout for the weekend was certainly satisfactory, with a total ticketed attendance of about 1800 and a total attendance of a little over 2000. The Selma community certainly did its part to support its hometown pros, and if the Leafs continue to play as they have been, interest should only improve.

“The team really did look well,” said Cosby. “I feel like our strength is going to be in our defense and in our speed. We’ve got some capable long ball hitters, too–we’re in pretty good shape.”

The speed that Cosby referred to is spread out over the team, but most look to outfielder Bartkawski Cowan as the one with the wheels. Cowan runs the 60-yard dash in a mere 6.23 seconds and has a tendency to swipe bases. But Cowan’s teammates can hustle, as well–during the weekend, many outran some plays that should have had them called out.

As far as long ball hitters are concerned, outfielder Jose Colon took the crown on Saturday night, when he hit the first Cloverleaf home run in over 40 years. Designated hitter and outfielder Joe Whitmer is rumored to be able to knock the ball pretty far, as is Brock Lowell, a natural catcher who moonlighted as a third baseman on Saturday.

The Leafs also have some quick hands in the likes of third baseman Keith Sills and shortstop Andrew Tarver Jr., who turned some impressive defensive plays on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re thrilled with the way they’ve been playing,” said Cosby. “Considering the fact that they haven’t had much time to work together as a team, things have gone real well. They’ve gone through an extensive two-week training camp in Montgomery, and it’s kind of like going from boot camp in a hurry to war.”

The Cloverleafs did wage war on the Americus Arrows this weekend, winning two games in a three-game series. Next, they take to the road until June 25. This morning, the team left for Baton Rouge, La., where they will take on the River Bats in a three-game series that starts today. After that, the Leafs head back to Alabama for the weekend, when they will go to Montgomery to play the Wings.

The Selma team will play at Montgomery’s Paterson Field on June 7-9, and the proximity to the Wings is sure to breed a rivalry.

“We do want to encourage the Selma fans to support the Leafs in Montgomery,” said Cosby. “And we’re working on some promotions for welcoming them back when they get home at the end of the month.”