PIC, Papa Js flourish in Babe Ruth

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   The season is quickly coming to a close on the 2002 Babe Ruth season, and as the end nears the action is hitting a feverish pitch.
   In action from the Babe Ruth diamond on Monday night, the PIC Indians kept the Elks Braves in their tailspin by taking a 9-4 victory while the doughboys of the Papa Johns D-Backs pretty much locked up the season title with a hard-fought victory over the Citizens Bank Cardinals by the score of 11-7.
   In the night's first contest, Robert Davenport may not have been Roger Clemens with a lot of strikeouts, but the young man kept the Braves in a stalled-out state from the mound while his team came through with clutch runs to take a big win over the Elks squad.
   Davenport went four strong innings, exiting with an 8-4 advantage while giving the reins over to Scott Burleson, who shut out the Braves in the two innings he pitched.
   Randy Swearingen stepped out of his prolific pitching role to a more offensive role as the young man banged out three hits in three trips to the plate. Charles Peters and Shannon Buchannon helped in the Indians charge as they each picked up two hits each.
   Burleson, Davenport and Cody Scalf each collected one hit each. For the Braves, Andrew Kennedy took the tough loss off the hill.
   Ryan Kennedy and Michael Mann collected three hits in four plate appearances to lead the Braves offensively. Andrew Kennedy was a perfect 2 for 2 from the dish as well with fellow teammates Coty Mann, Derrick Nave, Tyler Andes and Lucas Deloach collecting one hit each.
   The Indians slipped and slid their way into third place in the league, etching a game ahead of the Braves as the regular season winds to a close this week.
   Citizens Bank Cardinals.........................7
  
Papa Johns D-Backs.............................11
   Wile E. Coyote needs to take some lessons off D-Backs manager Rick Garrison as once again the Papa Johns skipper has coaxed his squad to the verge of another Junior Babe Ruth League title with a tougher-than-expected win over a determined bunch of Cardinals.
   The Cardinals rushed out to a quick 4-0 first-inning lead before the D-Backs squirmed their way back, finally overtaking the Bank squad with a five-run outburst in the third inning.
   Papa Johns picked up two more runs in the fourth with each club notching two runs each in the fifth to close out the scoring.
   Nick McNeal pitched a tough game for the D-Backs picking up seven K's, but needed a little help in shutting the door on the Cardinals as Chad "Rooster" Lewis entered to place the final touches on the D-Back victory.
   Cody Eggers went the distance only to see the game slip away down the stretch as the Bank completed its regular season slate with the contest.
   "Rooster" Lewis was perfect on the night from the plate with a 3-for-3 outing while Kevin Jessee slammed two hits. Teammates Corey Nave, Jonathan Crowley and Michael Hodge collected one hit apiece for the D-Backs.
   Justin Conway, Eggers, Kurt Kemp and Jared Oliver each picked up two hits for the Cardinals while Matt Rasnick contributed with one hit.
   The Cardinals finished out the season with a 5-7 slate while Papa Johns has one game left with a 9-2 ledger for the season.
   Tournament action will follow the completion of regular season, with the naming of all-stars to be made sometime this week.