Small-ball victory

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

Stranded runners and baserunning blunders helped send the Selma Pre-Majors squad into the loser’s bracket after falling in an eight-inning battle with Prattville 5-4.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Prattville put the leadoff batter on thanks to an error by the third baseman, Blake Richardson, which pulled the first baseman off the bag. The runner, Adam Owens advanced to second following a balk-call on a pickoff attempt by left-handed pitcher Clint Maroney. Back-to-back outs allowed Owens to advance to third base, leaving him 90 feet from home plate.

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Johnathon Burford laced a grounder to medium shortstop, which was fielded and then gunned to first. While the play was going to one side of the field, Owens was on his way to the dish, making it uncontested as the field umpire ruled the runner at first safe.

Selma, however had multiple opportunities during the course of the eight-inning affair to push runs across the plate, but on multiple occasions settled for leaving runners stranded.

In the first inning, Richardson blooped a hit over the second baseman but was called out going to second on a fielder’s choice from Andrew Harrison. With one out, Jacob Paxton’s deep fly on the hit and run was caught and Harrison was thrown out from centerfield ending the inning.

Prattville posted a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning moving the score to 2-0.

The Prattville squad tacked on another pair of runs in the bottom half of the third inning on a double from Kyle Wyatt.

Selma put runners on in the top of the fourth when Jacob Paxton walked and Tyler Hollis singled advancing Paxton. Octavious Hyatt entered to run for Hollis. Matthew Ross flew out to right but on the play, Hyatt tried to tag from second and made it to third, the same time that Paxton was returning to the bag. The throw from the short stop to the third baseman left a confused umpire-team and two men standing on third. Hyatt was called out as he was tagged and Paxton was left on base.

In the bottom of the fifth, though, Selma began to string runs together. T-Ray Mitchell and Darrius Steele both reached base and were scored

on an error by the shortstop which sent the ball into the Prattville dugout, cutting the lead in half. Selma added an additional run in the top of the sixth when J.R. Lowe singled, scoring Ross and cutting the lead to a run. But for the second time, bases were left loaded. Selma tied the game in the top of the seventh when Ross scored Maroney with bases loaded, but for a third time they were unable to produce any additional runs.

The loss moves Selma into the Loser’s bracket and puts them in a match-up with Holtville today at 2:30 p.m., at Bloch Park. Selma advances to Saturday with a second-round bye to meet the winner of the Chilton County v. Wetumpka game.