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Columbus Clippers rally to beat Lehigh Valley with 5-run 8th

Columbus Clippers rally to beat Lehigh Valley with 5-run 8th
Photo credit: Brittany Chay/flickr
June 23, 2014
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Columbus Clippers took three of four in Allentown, Pa., after Monday afternoon's 7-4 win against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. 

Audy Ciriaco's bat stayed hot against the IronPigs, as the shortstop went three for four, extending his hitting streak to four games. In the past three games Ciriaco has gone yard, increasing his home run total on the year to eight.

Travis Banwart started on the mound for Columbus and put together a quality start for the Clipshow. Banwart went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and struck out an impressive nine batters.

It took Columbus' offense a while to warm up, but it was not kept off the board in he fourth. With one out in the top of the fourth Carlos Moncrief drew the walk to get on base. Man of he hour Ciriaco then stepped up to the plate and took the offering deep to left centerfield for the two-run homer. 

Lehigh Valley answered back by jumping on the board in the bottom of the fifth. A single out to centerfield put one runner on for the IronPigs. A following single ultimately moved both runners to third and second after a throwing error by right fielder Moncrief. That error proved to be costly as both runners scored on a single grounder out to shortstop, tying things up, 2-2.

The IronPigs were the first to strike again in the seventh inning when J.C. Ramirez was called to the bump for Columbus. Ramirez let up a bomb to the first batter he faced that put Lehigh Valley up, 3-2. A frozen rope out to right field put a runner on first for the struggling righty. A sac-bunt moved the runner to scoring position before Ramirez was pulled from the game in favor of southpaw Nick Hagadone. 

The first batter he faced took one deep to the centerfield warning track for a double, bringing in the second run of the inning in for the pigs.

The Clippers, down 4-2, set fire in the eighth to take the game over. Justin Sellers and Tim Fedroff led off with walks to get on base. Elliot Johnson's single then brought Sellers home to cut the deficit down to just a single run. Jesus Aguilar grounded into a double play, but Moncrief came up with a much needed single to bring Fedroff in for the tying run.

Columbus did not stop there. With Moncrief alone on first with two outs Roberto Perez singled on a grounder down the third base line. Ciriaco continued his dominance in the batter's box with a fly ball to left field, the double brought both Moncrief and Perez in to score.

Up by two with two outs and Lehigh Valley made a pitching change. This did not put an end to the red hot Clipper bats, Ryan Rohlinger hit a high fly out to the right field, bringing Ciriaco running home safely. Columbus left the inning with a 7-4 lead.

C.C. Lee ultimately finished up the game for the Clippers, pitching the last two innings with just a single hit out of the Ironpigs. Lee was rewarded the save, while Hagadone picked up his third win of the season bringing him to a 3-4 record.

The Clippers have held steady at the second seat in the International League West standings with a 41-36 record. Columbus is set to continue their road trip with a stop in Buffalo to face the Bisons in a four game series.

Follow Adrienne on Twitter @yo_adrienneee, or she can be reached by email at Robbins.254@osu.edu

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