By Michael Coker/Black College Nines
Selma University opening NCCAA Tournament game against Clearwater Christian College as the winning score is no indication of seven-plus innings of brilliant pitching from both teams, leading to Clearwater’s 4-1 victory on Thursday afternoon at the beautiful Rubin Park baseball home of tournament host, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish.
Selma, 17-8 entered the game as the #3 seed in this year’s regional with the only winning record among the six-team contestants.
The first five innings was a pitcher’s duel between both teams. Selma Shane Jeffcoat and Clearwater Ryan Broaderick each allowed few base runners.
Broaderick allowed three hits, 0 runs, walked just one batter and fanned 3 in his first four innings on the mound.
Jeffcoat was pitching a perfect game for the first five-innings no walks no hits and struck out seven batters. The only runner allowed, Clearwater shortstop Kevin Tavernia struck out reached first on a third strike passed ball. Jeffcoat fanned the next batter striking out the side at the top of the third inning.
Selma threatens to score the game’s first run during the bottom of the fourth inning. Broaderick walked Bulldogs freshman designated hitter Cullen Boswell. The next batter Travis Jean flied out to right field. Deshun Bolling singled putting runners on first and second with one out. Third baseman Keifer Kilcriese infield ground ball, Cougars attempted a double play. Bolling was first declared safe at first but was called out as the umpire ruled interference on the play.
Selma Head Baseball Coach Adrian Holloway disputed the interference call to no avail.
The Bulldogs scored the game’s first run. With two outs bottom of fifth, Tremaine Hopps lays down a perfect bunt single, advanced to second on a balk. Ryan Lewis singled to right center scoring Hopps.
Selma had a chance to tack on more runs, Darryl Watkins singled to left field putting runners on the corners; Lewis advanced to third. Next batter Boswell infield ground out leaving runners stranded.
Clearwater ended Jeffcoat no-hit bid, in the top of six-inning Kevin Tavernia singled to left center, advanced to second on a sacrificed bunt. Jeremy Viveros singled to right field Tavernia scored.
For the second time during the game, the umpires call would come into question.
Bottom of sixth inning, Selma catcher Travis Jean doubled down the left field line. With a runner on Cortz Rogers-Allen fouled out to Clearwater first basemen Jake Purcell. Purcell attempts to run the ball in after catch. Jean standing on second after catch tags makes a late break advances to third base safe ahead of throw. Clearwater infielder Tavernia and pitcher Broaderick appealed play umpire Michael Stewart ruled base-runner left early calling base runner out.
Selma’s Holloway argued umpire ruling for second time in the game. Umpires calls were costing scoring chance for Selma.
Scored tied 1-1, Clearwater Purcell doubled to right field. Jamison Wyatt greeted Jeffcoat singled to left field; Purcell advanced to third. Next batter Alex Milton struck out swinging, Wyatt stole second. Colby Retkowski reached on a fielder’s choice, Wyatt advanced to third, Purcell out at home.
During play at the plate, Purcell collided throwing both shoulder and forearm hitting the catcher in the head who appeared to be dazed from the contact. Holloway argued for Home Plate umpire Moe Moje for an ejection in the collision.
Clearwater added three more runs in the top of the eighth, Josh Viveros and Jeremy Viveros reached on a fielder’s choice. Right fielder Nic Martin singled to center field, Josh Viveros scored, and Jeremy Viveros advanced to third. Victor Monroig grounded out to infield. First base umpire turns to home plate umpire for help at first base. Martin advanced to third, Viveros scored. Purcell grounded out to second, Martin scored. Game ends, Clearwater catcher Colby Retkowski picked off Ryan Lewis from first base.
Clearwater Christian College entered the contest 0-32. This is their first win of the 2015 season.
Coach Holloway chats with Black College Nines. Click behind the 00:00 to hear the noise interview.
Notes: Selma 17-8 record, .680 winning percentage highest among NCCAA South Region. Clearwater Christian Cougars 0-32, Palm Beach Atlantic 22-25, Shorter University 16-24, Toccoa Falls College 16-20 and Trinity Baptist College 15-26.