Clinton Lumberkings at Michigan BattleCats

June 5th, 2002

Danny Rombley CF 5 1 3 1
Greg Thissen 2B 5 1 1 0
Josh Labandeira SS 3 1 1 0
Dominick Ambrosini LF 5 0 1 0
Matt Brown RF 4 0 0 1
Clyde Williams 1B 3 0 1 1
Anthony Ambrosini C 4 0 0 0
David Lutz DH 0 1 0 0
Lorvin Louisa PH 1 0 0 0
Nick Schnabel 3B 3 0 0 0
Matt Thede PH 1 0 0 0
Henry Encarnacion PR/3B 0 0 0 0
Mike Rodriguez CF 4 2 2 0
Cameron Likely LF 3 0 0 0
Trevor Mote 3B 4 1 0 1
Steve Checksfield RF 3 1 1 2
Todd Shelf DH 4 0 2 1
Mark Obradovich C 4 0 0 0
Randy Rojas 2B 3 0 0 0
Joe Lydic 1B 1 0 0 0
Ryan Stegall SS 2 1 0 0

Clinton 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 7 1
Michigan 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 X 5 5 3

E-Thissen, Mote, Stegall, Pluta, LOB CLI-10, MIC-5, 2B-Rombley, Rodriguez, CS-Encarnacion, Rojas, HBP-Labandeira, Brown, Lutz, SACB-Likely

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Jason Norderum 4.1 4 4 4 4 1 L (0-4)
Roy Corcoran 2.2 1 1 0 1 1 ND
David Maust 1 0 0 0 0 0 ND

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Anthony Pluta 6 4 3 2 4 6 W (5-5)
Juan Campos 1 2 1 1 0 0 ND
Max Tremblay 2 1 0 0 0 3 SV (5)
HB-Pluta 2, Campos, WP-Pluta 3, BK-Pluta, SO-Rombley, D.Ambrosini 4, Brown, Williams 2, A.Ambrosini, Likeley, Checksfield, BB-Labandeira, Williams, Lutz 2, Checksfield, Rojas, Lydic 2, Stegall
T-2:40, A-1,010

Battle Creek Enquirer
by Howie Magner

In weather more suited for ducks, it was a chicken that stole the show at C.O. Brown Stadium.

While Michigan was busy breaking it's four game losing streak with a 5-4 triumph over Clinton, the Famous Chicken was busy doing the act that made him famous.

The former San Diego Padres mascot mixed in bits that included plenty of faux umpire abuse, a conga line of kids turned little chickens, and even a full blown water balloon fight. And though Wednesday night's cool damp weather helped limit his audience to some 600 fans, those who showed up seemed happy that they made the trip.

"We love you Mr. Chicken", a young fan called out in the bottom of the fifth inning, a frame that saw the Cats (33-26) score three runs to take a 5-3 lead.

Michigan's players also enjoyed the show, thinking it a fine way to return from their eight game road trip, one that didn't end until they stepped off the bus in Battle Creek around 5 am.

"I think it probably helped us out," said Steve Checksfield, who had a two run single in the third and scored the eventual game winning run in the fifth. "We went out there and were watching him a little bit and laughing, just going out there relaxed instead of going out there saying we had to win. It took the pressure off us."

The pressure began when Michigan was swept in a four game series at Cedar Rapids, dropping the Cats into a tie for second place in the division standings. It continued early in Wednesday's game, when Clinton (26-29) scored a run in the first inning and two more in the second off starting pitcher Anthony Pluta.

But if anyone is suited to pitch in a game that included the Chicken, it's Pluta who worked six innings of four hit ball for the win. Turns out his father used to be a disc jockey at the same San Diego radio station that gave the Chicken his start.

"I've seen him so many times," said Pluta (5-5). "I think if I was the opposing team, then it would be a little tougher. But since he wasn't messing with me and was medding with the other guy, all I had to do was laugh."

The other guy, Clinton starter Jason Norderum had less to laugh about. After sailing through the first two innings, Norderum ran into trouble in the third, which just happened to be the same inning the Chicen begam his act by coaching first base.

With Norderum being a left hander, it was hard for him to miss the Chicken's antics, which included posters of women not exactly dressed for the chilly evening. Coincidence or not, Norderum walked the first two batters he faced in the inning, then gave up an infield hit to Mike Rodriguez.

Checksfield made the hurler pay with his two out, two run single up the middle, cutting Clinton's lead to 3-2. The Cats got the tying run against Norderum in the fifth, when Mike Rodriguez led off with a double and scored with a nifty slide at home on Trevor Mote's one out fielder's choice.

That ended the night for Norderum (0-4) but the Cats weren't finished. After Checksfield drew a walk that moved Mote to second, Todd Shelf singled to right to put the Cats up 4-3.

Checksfield later scored on a Clinton throwing error and, while Clinton added a run in the seventh, Cats reliever Max Tremblay allowed just one baserunner over the final two innings for his fifth save.