Leafs struggle on road

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 17, 2002

The Selma Cloverleafs finished up a three-game series visiting the Ozark Patriots on Thursday, June 14, and they headed down to beautiful Pensacola to take on the Pelicans this weekend.

Saturday night, the Leafs upset the Pelicans, the leaders of the league, 7-3.

Selma’s hometown pros have been traveling since the beginning of the season, and the road trip hasn’t been particularly kind at times. Of the last three games reported to the Times-Journal, the Leafs have gone 0-3, mostly losing heartbreakers by one run.

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On Wednesday night’s game against the Patriots, Selma lost 5-6. The tough part of the loss for the Leafs was that they out-hit Ozark, racking up 11 hits and leaving the Patriots with only seven. Selma pitcher Bryan Rushton picked up the loss, giving up two earned runs, walking five, and striking out two.

At the plate for the Leafs, third baseman Keith Sills went a solid 2-for-3, while manager and designated hitter Merritt Bowden went 2-for-4. Shortstop Andrew Tarver was 1-for-3, picking up an RBI, and Joe Colvin was 1-for-5 with two RBIs. Selma slugger Joe Whitmer was 2-for-5.

Thursday’s final game against the Patriots also handed the Cloverleafs a loss, this time 3-6. Jon Renfro was Selma’s starting pitcher, giving up six hits but no earned runs. He walked one and struck out four for the evening. Ozark managed a total of ten hits for the game.

Leading hitters for Selma once again swept the left side of the field, with shortstop Tarver, third baseman Sills, and left fielder Whitmer all performing at the plate. Tarver had two doubles to end up 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Whitmer went 1-for-3, picking up one RBI. Sills and teammate Bartkawski Cowan each went 1-for-3 in the effort. The Leafs had a total of seven hits in Thursday’s game.

After suffering back-to-back losses at the hands of the Patriots, the Cloverleafs tried their luck in Pensacola, starting with Friday’s game against the Pelicans. The Leafs lost 6-3 in the first game they’ve played in Florida.

Selma pitcher Kyle Parker picked up the loss, although he allowed only five hits and struck out three. Parker had four earned runs for the game, and he walked four and hit four batters.

Friday’s leading hitters for Selma all contributed to a total of ten hits for the Leafs, outhitting the Pelicans, who had a mere six. Tarver went 2-for-4 with one double, while Bowden was 1-for-2 with a double. Sills went 2-for-4, and teammate Kevin Bice was 2-for-5.

The Cloverleafs played the second game in the three-game series on Saturday night, and are scheduled to conclude their facing of Pensacola tonight. From there, they travel to Americus, Ga., to face the Arrows. The last time the Leafs and Arrows met was at Selma’s own Bloch Park, where the Cloverleafs won the series 2-1.

Selma’s hometown pros return to town on June 25, where they kick off a long stretch of home games by playing the Montgomery Wings.