West Michigan WhiteCaps at Michigan Battle Cats

April 6th, 2002

Juan Francia 2B 5 0 1 0
Juan Gonzalez 3B 4 0 1 0
Miles Durham CF 5 0 0 0
Mike Rabelo C 4 0 2 0
David Mattle LF 4 1 1 0
Jason Knoedler RF 3 0 0 0
Juan Tejeda 1B 4 0 0 0
Andy Yount DH 3 1 0 0
Don Kelly SS 4 0 1 2
Mike Rodriguez CF 5 0 1 0
Brooks Conrad 2B 4 1 1 0
Fehlandt Lentini LF 5 0 0 0
Todd Shelf DH 4 0 0 0
Steve Checksfield 1B 5 1 2 2
Kerry Hodges RF 3 1 1 0
Trevor Mote 3B 4 0 2 0
Mark Obradovich C 2 0 1 1
Randolph Rojas SS 4 0 0 0

West Michigan 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 2
Michigan 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 8 4

E-Francia, Kelly, Conrad, Mote, Obradovich 2, LOB WM-7, MIC-10, 2B-Obradovich, 3B-Kelly, HR-Checksfield (Moates), SB-Francia, Gonzalez 2, Durham, Conrad 2, CS-Obradovich, SACB-Obradovich

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Jason Moates 5 6 2 2 1 2 ND
John Birtwell 3 1 0 0 0 3 ND
Jerrod Fuell 1.1 1 1 1 3 2 L (0-1)

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Monte Mansfield 5 3 2 2 2 6 ND
D.J. Houlton 2 2 0 0 1 3 ND
Grant Dorn 2 1 0 0 0 2 ND
Max Tremblay 1 0 0 0 0 1 W (1-0)

WP-Moates 2, Dorn, BK-Moates, SO-Francia, Gonzalez, Durham 2, Rabelo, Mattle 3, Tejeda, Yount 3, Conrad, Lentini, Checksfield 2, Rojas 3, BB-Gonzalez, Knoedleer, Yount, Conrad, Shelf, Hodges, Obradovich
T-2:46, A-693

Battle Creek Enquirer
by Howie Magner

Practice didn't make Steve Checksfield perfect, but it certainly made him good enough.

Checkfield's 10th inning single scored Brooks Conrad from second base to give Michigan it's first win of the 2002 season, a 3-2 victory over West Michigan Saturday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.

Checksfield, who took extra batting practice before the game after going hitless in his first seven at bats of the season, also delievered Michigan's first home run of the year with a solo shot in the second inning.

"I had a great feeling coming into today, " said Checksfield, who went 2 for 5 on a night that saw the Battle Cats (1-2) collect eight hits after they managed only six in their first two games. "We came in ready to go and it showed."

Checksfield's game winning hit came on a one out, two strike single to right and allowed Conrad to slide across home plate just ahead of the throw from West Michigan's Jason Knoedler.

Conrad's slide at second base a few minutes earlier was almost as important.

Conrad who drew a leadoff walk from West Michigan's Jerrod Fuell (0-1) got into scoring position with a steal of second base while Fehlandt Lentini was striking out. The throw to second from WhiteCaps catcher Mike Rabelo was in plenty of time, but Juan Francia appartently took it too fat in front of the bag, allowing Conrad to sneak in safely with a slide to the outfield side.

West Michigan manager Phil Regan argued the call to no avail, and after Todd Shelf was intentionally walked, Checksfield delievered the single that made a winner of Michigan reliever Max Tremblay (1-0)

"Tonight was a great night," said Conrad, "To win it in that fashion, it's just gonna get us pumped for the next game."

West Michigan (2-1) scored the game's first runs in the top of the second when nine hole hitter Don Kelly turned a Monte Mansfield mistake into a two out, two run triple. Other than that Mansfield was sharp in his first start of the season, striking out six while walking two and giving up three hits over five innings.

Checksfield chopped the lead in half in the bottom of the frame with his leadoff homer down the left field line off WhiteCaps starter Jason Moates. Michigan looked poised to do more damage in the inning when Kerry Hodges followed with a walk and Trevor Mote bunted for a base hit, then a wild pitch put them at second and third with nobody out.

But the Cats couldn't take advantage. mark Obradovich flew out to shallow left field. Randy Rojas popped out to second and Mike Rodriguez hti a drive to straightaway center that was flagged down at the warning track.

Obradovich made up for the missed opportunity though. Hodges led off the fourth with a single to left and Obradovich tied the game at 2 all with a one out double to the right center gap.

Fans got a chance to see the rare 8-6 fielder's choice Saturday. After Rodriguez led off the game with a single, his first hit of the season, Conrad followed with a popup to short centerfield. WhiteCaps outfield Miles Durham dropped the ball, but still had time to throw Rodriguez out at second

Saturday's balmy first pitch temperature of 38 degrees netted a record night of Dippin' Dots ice cream sales. Eleven of the 693 fans in attendence gobbled up ice cream servings after four sales Thursday (30 degrees) and eight sales Friday (26 degrees)