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Columbus Clippers, Giovanny Urshela beat Syracuse Chiefs, 7-3

Columbus Clippers, Giovanny Urshela beat Syracuse Chiefs, 7-3
Photo credit: Brittany Chay/flickr
May 9, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Clippers gave it up, and then got it back, and then some. 

Nick Hagadone gave up a three-run homer that tied the game in the eighth, but the Columbus Clippers (18-15) rallied four runs in the bottom half of the inning. The 7-3 victory for the Clippers is their fifth straight and ended a six game winning streak for the opposing Syracuse Chiefs (18-16) Friday night at Huntington Park.

It’s not sexy, but the game-winner was a bases-loaded walk byJustin Sellers. He was followed by a three-run double from the third hitter in the batting order, David Cooper.

Sellers fell down in the count a ball and two strikes before working his way back in an eight-pitch walk off of Manny Delcarmen (2-2), who took the loss. 

“Fouled off a couple of pitches; laid off a couple of pitches.  It was a great at-bat in a key situation,” Clippers managerChris Tremie said. “If he doesn’t get that walk or doesn’t get something, you don’t know for sure that the next hitter is going to get a base hit. [That he was] able to get that runner in from third with a great at-bat like that was a big part of that inning.”

That Cooper is the number three hitter in the Clippers batting order is worth mentioning because at the beginning of the home stand, the Clippers were batting .186 as a team out of that spot in the order with one homer, 11 knocked in and an alarming 60 left on base. 

At the time, Cooper had been in the order ten times followed by Nyjer Morgan with nine appearances.  Cooper’s three-run double in the eighth extended a small hitting streak to six games, over the course of which he has 10 hits in 25 at bats, which started Sunday in Durham.

T.J. House started for Columbus and pitched lights out for six shutout innings. He retired the first five batters he faced before allowing back-to-back hits, a double and a single. Then he retired the next 12 batters before walking back-to-back batters in the sixth with two outs. He coaxed a grounder to short by Tyler Moore to end his night.

Coming in to Friday night’s game, the Clippers offense has provided 2.2 runs per game with House on the mound. To make matters worse, the bullpen has blown three saves in games he has started, including Friday night.

Nick Hagadone was the culprit in this case.

Hagadone entered the game in the eighth with a three-run lead, but lost control. He walked two batters before giving up the game-tying three-run homer by Jhonatan Solano. It was his first blown save of the year. 

“Nick left the ball over the plate and ended up giving up the home run, but he’s thrown very well for us recently,” Tremie said. “It wasn’t his night tonight.”

Vinnie Pestano (1-2) took over after the home run and got the final out of the inning by striking out Brock Peterson. He also worked the ninth and picked up the win.

Giovanny Urshela struck again, a first-pitch-swinging home run to left center that drove in Jesus Aguilar and put the Clippers up 3-0 in the fifth.

Syracuse starter Taylor Hill threw a shutout in his last start and extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings after the first, but the Clippers were patient with him and made him throw a lot of pitches early, including a 28-pitch second inning followed by a 20-pitch third. Ultimately, Hill only lasted 87 pitches and five innings.

Todd Hankins picked a good time to come up with his first career Triple-A hit. His single to left in the second scoredCarlos Moncrief and gave the Clippers the early 1-0 lead. 

“Hankins was a big day,” Tremie said. “It was great for him to get his first Triple-A hit and then his RBI as well.”

Tim Fedroff followed with a single off the pitcher that landed where shortstop Emmanuel Burris had been occupying to extend his on-base streak to 24 games. Fedroff has hits in 17 of those games, including the past four.

The four-game series between the Clippers and Syracuse is scheduled to continue on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Scheduled to start for the Clippers is right-hander Tyler Cloyd, who will make his fifth attempt at picking up his second win of the season. In his last start, Cloyd pitched shutout baseball through the first four innings, but ran into a trouble in the fifth after a leadoff walk and an error by his defense.  A grand slam cost him the lead and ultimately an opportunity at going back out for the sixth inning.

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

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