Wings take Cloverleafs for 9-5 win

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002

The Montgomery Wings used an explosive seventh inning to rally past Selma Thursday night at Paterson Field.

Trailing 5-3 going into the seventh, Montgomery (20-19) scored six unanswered runs to win 9-5 in front of a crowd of 342.

“We needed this win tonight. You want to start the second half of the season by winning a series,” Wings centerfielder Kenny Craddox said. “After Wednesdays loss, we talked about being patient and not giving up. Patience paid off for us tonight.”

Selma (18-17) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning with a handful of key hits and a couple of Wings errors. Montgomery regained its composure though and scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the bottom of the fifth to stay within striking distance.

“We knew that if we could keep it close, we had a chance to win it in the later innings,” Craddox said. “We have come back on teams before and we knew we could do it tonight.”

Teammate Colby Smith echoed Craddox’s thoughts.

“We just kept fighting and were able to come back,” Smith said. “It seemed like they were getting all the breaks early on but we just kept on swinging and things started happening.”

Down by two heading into the bottom of the seventh, Montgomery came alive. With one out away, Montgomery loaded the bases when Edwin Feliciano was hit by a pitch. Eunique Johnson hit a shot to shortstop Desmond OQuinne but an error allowed Brian Smith to score. Rusty Riley then tied the game on an Evan Cherry RBI single to right field.

With their lead gone, the Cloverleafs chose to make a pitching change and try to salvage the inning. It was the wrong decision. Montgomery proceeded to score four more runs in seventh.

Colby Smith drove in Johnson with a single and a little help from a Selma error. Smiths hit was fielded by OQuinne in shallow left field and as Johnson rounded third, it looked as if he would be gunned at home. But as OQuinne prepared to throw, he lost his footing and could not get the throw off.

With his team leading 6-5, Montgomery’s Craddox singled in Cherry before Stephen Webster drove in Colby Smith. Leading 8-5, with two outs away, Craddox scored the final run on a wild pitch.

“They just played a little bit better than us tonight,” Selma player/manager Merritt Bowden said. “They started to put some hits together and got a couple of runs and then we just couldn’t stop them.”

Craddox led the Wings at the plate with two RBIs on 3-for-4 hitting. Colby Smith was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Gavin Jackson was also 2-for-4 on the night.

Jose Colon and Joe Colvin were each 2-for-4 to lead Selma. Montgomery will travel to Selma tonight for a three-game series there.