Big sixth inning leads Clippers to 7-4 win
Columbus stays alive in playoff hunt
Columbus- After fielding errors dug the Clippers into a four-run hole against the Louisville Bats, in one inning Columbus rallied scoring seven runs and collecting the win 7-4.
“It would have been very easy for the club to just kind of pack it in and we haven’t done that all year,” manager Chris Tremie said. “They play the game the right way.”
The Clippers struggled to put the barrel to the ball through the first four innings, with third baseman Justin Toole getting the only hit in the third inning. While the Bat’s continued to find ways to get on base against starter T.J. House, but stranded all six runners they had in those innings.
Louisville buckled down in the fifth and was able to jump on the home team. The Bats led off the inning with a single before the Clippers were able to knock down two outs. House followed the two outs letting up a walk. Both Louisville runners were ushered into home when Denis Phipps hit a line drive out to left field, where a fielding error by left fielder Chun-Hsiu Chen cost the Clippers two runs.
“He’s still learning left field, hasn’t been out there a ton,” Tremie said. “It’s part of development out there.”
The Bats collected on one more run due to a fielding error by Nate Spears on a fly ball, putting Louisville up 3-0.
While Louisville starter Yohan Pino kept the Clippers quiet, the Bats lead continued to grow in the sixth. House let up two singles with one out, House attempted to pick off the second base runner throwing the ball over Spears' head and sending Louisville’s fourth run in to score.
Two pitching changes by Louisville came in the sixth inning, changing the momentum of the game. Toole led off the inning with his second hit of the game, a deep fly ball to right field placing him on second. Ezequiel Carrera followed up with a hit down the first-base line, putting runners in the corners. Carrera took the initiative, stealing second with Juan Diaz batting. Diaz ultimately walked, loading the bases with no outs.
A call to the bullpen brought in the Bat’s first reliever, replacing starter Pino. The new pitcher Zach Duke collected two outs, the second a sacrifice fly scoring Toole. David Cooper took the walk reloading the bases before another pitching change was made by Louisville. The table was set when Chen came up to bat sending a ball bouncing off of the center-field scoreboard for a grand slam.
Spears followed the big hit with one of his own. Spears sent a shot out to center field mirroring Choo’s homerun, putting the Clippers up 7-4 against the Bats.
“Tonight we were the team that had the big inning and you just kind of see them get on their heels after that,” Tremie noted.
House pitched through the sixth inning before handing the ball over to C.C. Lee late in the seventh. House ultimately was rewarded with the win.
Preston Guilmet followed Lee coming out of the pen to pitch in the eighth and both relievers earned a hold for their outings. Nick Hagadone came in to close in the ninth and was given a save.
The Clippers are still mathematically in the wild card race but will most likely be eliminated in the next couple days by the Norfolk Tides.
Huntington Park will once again host the Louisville Bats Thursday night to conclude their series with Columbus.