Cloverleafs upset River Bats for possible seat in playoffs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2002

Sometimes, it all comes down to that one play–that one tag at the plate or smoked single that turns the tide of a baseball game. Cloverleafs catcher Kevin Bice made that one play in Wednesday’s game against Baton Rouge. His grand slam in the bottom of the third inning gave the Leafs a much-needed push to defeat the River Bats 11-7 in the second game of the Baton Rouge series.

Selma was trailing their visitors 5-3 until that point, the result of a two-run second inning and a three-run third inning by Baton Rouge. Selma’s runs were the result of a triple in the second by Desmond O’Quine that scored Brock Lowell, a single by Jose Colon in the bottom of the third that scored Bartkawski Cowan, and a drilled single by Joe Whitmer that scored Keith Sills. Bice’s grand slam over the left field fence brought Selma the 7-5 lead and gave the Leafs the momentum to keep going for the rest of the game. Selma was hot after the hit–the bottom of the fourth brought five more runs for the home team, giving them a comfortable 10-5 lead. The score remained the same until the top of the seventh, when Selma reliever Lucas McCullom came in for starting pitcher Kyle Parker. McCullom gave up two runs, one a solo home run for Baton Rouge’s Eric Brown, narrowing Selma’s lead to 10-7. McCullom got out of the inning by striking out two.

Selma All-Star Lowell got an infield hit in the bottom of the seventh, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and giving him one of the longest streaks in the league. After that, Bice scored once again, giving Selma the 11-7 lead.

In the top of the eighth, closer Jim Brantley came in to wind up the game for the Cloverleafs. He effectively did so, striking out two in the top of the ninth.

Wednesday’s victory was crucial for Selma–it not only brought the Leafs’ record to an over-.500 16-15, it gives them a chance to go to the post-season playoffs. A win tonight in the closing game of the series will ensure Selma’s taking of their division within the league.

Selma All-Star and hometown player Terry Waters, with a win record of 3-1, will get the start tonight as the Leafs take on the Baton Rouge River Bats in game three of the important series.