Selma stumps Montgomery in first of three

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2002

In their first game at home since opening weekend, the Selma Cloverleafs marked their return with a 9-4 trouncing of the Montgomery Wings.

The game also doubled as a “reunion night,” bringing players and affiliates from Selma’s baseball heyday back to town to watch the new era of Cloverleafs perform.

Selma got off to a slow start, allowing the Wings a 2-1 lead at the end of the first inning. By the bottom of the third, Montgomery had added another run to its lead. Momentum seemed to shift in favor of Selma, however, when winning pitcher Lucas McCullom struck out three batters in the top of the fifth. The bottom of the fifth brought a single for Jose Colon, and the Leafs narrowed the Montgomery lead to 3-2. But the big play of the evening was a two-run scorched shot by first baseman Brock Lowell that disappeared somewhere past center field’s 380 sign. The homer brought the score to 4-4, bringing the Leafs within reach of the win for the first time that night.

“The lick by Brock was really the turning point,” said manager Merritt Bowden. “After that, we seemed to get it together more.”

The streak continued as a hit by Colon scored two runs, bringing the home team’s lead to 6-4. A solo home run by Joe Whitmer and a two-RBI double by Lowell in the bottom of the eighth gave the Leafs their final 9-4 win.

Pitcher McCullom allowed only six hits and two earned runs in six innings pitched, and he struck out 10 to round out his game. Jim Brantley struck out two while winding up the game, and closer Dennis Gomez struck out one to finish.

At the plate, Selma out-hit Montgomery 10-7. Colon went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, scoring one run and stealing one base. Joe Colvin was 2-for-3 with one run scored and one stolen base. Lowell was 2-for-5, racking up a double and a home run for three RBIs.

“We did a good job fighting back,” said Bowden of his team’s performance. “Tonight, we were really getting hits in timely situations, and those clutch hits put us over the top.”

Selma native Terry Waters was supposed to start as the Leafs pitcher for the game, but soreness in his shoulder prevented him from doing so. He is expected to be put on the DL for a few days.

Tomorrow, the Leafs play their second game in the series with Montgomery. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bloch Park, with pitcher Kyle Parker getting the start.