Leafs avoid sweep against Wings

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 28, 2002

In an eleven-inning heartbreaker, the Cloverleafs lost their third game in a series with the Montgomery Wings 11-8 last night. The loss prevented the Leafs from attaining a sweep of the Wings, and it brought their record to an even 12-12.

For the second night in a row, dreary weather plagued the players and fans, with rain dripping on the crowd of 108.

Selma failed to out-hit the Wings for the first time in this series, getting only 12 hits in comparison to Montgomery’s 13. The Leafs went through four pitchers for the evening, starting with Jon Renfro, who allowed two earned runs and nine hits, striking out four. John Learson came in next, followed by Jim Brantley and Eric Turnrose.

Email newsletter signup

Montgomery jumped out ahead early in the game, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the second, however, Selma slugger Brock Lowell hit a solo home run, putting the Leafs on the board at 5-1. Hits later in the game allowed the Leafs to close in on the Wings, and in the bottom of the third, Joe Whitmer scored on a passed ball, tying the score at five. The Wings answered back by scoring three more runs by the top of the fifth, but the Leafs’ Joe Colvin scored, narrowing the Wings’ lead to 8-6. The score remained the same until the bottom of the ninth inning, when a two-out, two-run blast by manager Merritt Bowden tied the score at eight and sent the game into extra innings. The score was still gridlocked in the tenth, but some clutch hits on the part of the Wings brought the score to 11-8 in the visiting team’s favor.

Though Selma didn’t pull off the victory, many Cloverleaf batters wowed the crowd with solid hitting. Keith Sills went 2-for-6 with one RBI, while Jose Colon, acting as designated hitter, was 3-for-4 with one double. Whitmer was 1-for-6, driving in two runs, while Lowell went a solid 4-for-5, with a home run acting as his one RBI. Bowden was 2-for-2 with one home run and two RBIs.

“We’ve been kind of flirting with disaster,” said Bowden after the game. “We’re giving up runs and we’re maybe not focused enough. We fought back, but it just finally bit us tonight.”

The Leafs will start another three-game home series tomorrow, when they take on the Ozark Patriots at 7 p.m. at Bloch Park.