Clippers fall to Bats, 3-2
Columbus managed just four hits on the road on Sunday.
LOUISVILLE, KY – It’s the little mistakes that can come back to haunt a team, and on Sunday the Columbus Clippers made one of those mistakes.
A late wild pitch by Kyle Davies ultimately lead to the Louisville Bats (27-30) scoring the winning run in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Clippers (26-30) on Sunday.
The teams played three games against each over the two prior days, with the Clippers taking two out of three. On Sunday the series moved to Louisville for two games, and the hometown Bats made their opportunities count.
The Bats got on the board first with a solid first time up to bat. Singles by Ruben Gotay and Perez gave them two runners on with just one out. After Davies struck out Neftali Soto, Chris Nelson singled into right field to give Louisville the 1-0 lead.
Tucker Barnhart then followed suit with a two-out single of his own, this time scoring Perez to give the Bats a 2-0 advantage.
Meanwhile, Louisville starter Josh Smith cruised through the first two innings, but found himself in trouble in the third. He began the inning by hitting Luke Carlin with a pitch, and, eventually, walked Jose Ramirez with one out. After a coaching visit to the mound, Smith retired Tim Fedroff and Giovanny Urshela and a chance went begging for Columbus.
The Bats were once again in business in the bottom of the inning. Gotay led off with a double, and Perez then reached on an error by Justin Sellers, putting runners at the corners with nobody out.
But the next play went almost perfectly for the visiting Clippers.
Soto grounded to Urshela at third, and the infielder immediately threw home, allowing Carlin to tag out Gotay. As the play unfolded at home, Perez attempted to make it all the way to third, but Carlin fired right back at Urshela to tag Perez for the second out.
With Soto now on third, Nelson popped out to second, making the Clippers’ miraculous escape complete.
Columbus had a runner on third in the fourth, as Audy Ciriaco doubled and then advanced to third on a balk. But, like the Bats in the previous inning, they couldn’t make the most of it as Sellers grounded out third base.
A two-out rally in the fifth finally got the Clippers back in the ballgame.
A single by Ramirez, and a walk to Fedroff was enough to bring a coaching visit from the Louisville dugout. It didn’t seem to help. The next batter, Urshela, tripled into left field, scoring Ramirez and Fedroff to tie the game at 2.
But, the game’s decisive sequence came in the next inning.
Perez singled to left to lead off the inning, and as Davies pitched Soto he misplaced a ball and it went through Carlin, allowing Perez to take second.
Soto grounded out to move Perez to third, and Nelson sent him home with a sacrifice fly.
The Clippers couldn’t manage a hit over the next three innings, the only base runners they had came from walks. Jumbo Diaz came on for the save as the home team rebounded from being swept the day before.
The teams meet again at 7:05 PM on Monday night in Louisville.