Alabama’s Salem Provides Clutch Hit in 4-3 Win Over Braves
By Megan Kerr, Asst. Web Editor
July 11, 2005
COTUIT, MA – Emeel Salem (Alabama, 2-5, 2 RBI) hit the game-winning RBI as the Kettleers came back in the ninth inning to defeat division-leading Bourne, 4-3, last night at Lowell Park.
The win gave Cotuit an 11-10-1 mark on the season and dibs on second place in the Western Division standings as the Braves’ loss forced a first-place tie between Bourne and Wareham.
After a very tough game the day before, Cotuit bounced right back and even when faced with their second tough loss in a row, they continued to work hard, which gave them a very deserving victory. Cotuit struck first, scoring a run in the first inning, but the Braves scored three runs in the third to take the lead.
Josh Johnson (Mississippi, 4 Ks, 3 BB) gave the Kettleers seven very strong innings, only facing serious trouble in the third inning. Unfortunately, the Braves were able to take advantage when Johnson faltered as they scored all three of their runs in the third. There were men on first and second after a man had reached on an error by Todd Davison (Delaware) and one had walked, which set up Mike McBryde (Florida Atlantic, 1-4 batting, 3 RBI). McBryde hit a three-run homerun, his first homerun of the season, over the left field fence to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. Johnson settled down after this, but the damage had been done.
The Kettleers were unable to put some pressure on the Braves until the seventh inning as their bats had again gone silent. With two outs and bases loaded, Salem walked to the plate looking to tie the game with a single. Brad Lincoln (Houston, 5 Ks, 1 BB), the starting pitcher for the Braves, then beared down and struck out Salem looking to end the inning. Salem had watched a great opportunity slip by, but luckily for him, he was given another opportunity.
While Tim Ladd (Georgia Tech, 1 K, 1 BB), who picked up his second victory of the season, controlled the Braves attack the last two innings, Romas Hicks (NC State, 1 K, 1 BB) was unable to do the same, which gave him his first loss of the season. Hicks, coming into the game, was tied for second with two other players in saves with five on the season, but he was couldn’t come up with his sixth today. Jason Donald (Arizona, 2-4) started off the inning with a single, and then pitch hitter Devin Thomas (Brown, 1-1 batting) followed with another single to put immediate pressure on Hicks.
With two on and no outs, Sean Gaston (Notre Dame) reached on an error by the first baseman to load the bases, setting the stage for a great ending for the Kettleers. Shane Jordan (Stetson, 2-4 batting , 1 RBI) began the comeback with a single to score Donald, which gave Salem the opportunity to reedeem the strikeout he had had earlier. This time, Salem took advantage of the situation, singling to score two runs and give the Kettleers a much needed victory before a break tommorow.