Rohlinger, Clippers walk-off on Braves 4-3
COLUMBUS, OH - The Columbus Clippers won in walk-off fashion Saturday night against the Gwinnett Braves. After a back and forth game, Gwinnett and Columbus remained locked in a tie for three innings before Columbus won late in the 10th inning, 4-3.
“Tonight we were able to do it and we got the win,” Manager Chris Tremie commented about the game.
The Clippers bats warmed up in the third inning, giving them an early lead on the Braves. Chun-Hsiu Chen led off the inning drawing a walk from Gwinnett starter Omar Poveda. Third baseman Justin Toole moved Chen over to second with a sacrifice bunt to first base. The left fielder Chen then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Poveda.
With two outs and Chen on third Ezequiel Carrera came up with a clutch hit, bringing Chen in to score. Carrera continued to produce stealing his 40th base with shortstop Ryan Rohlinger batting. Rohlinger then smashed a hard hit into left field, sending Chen home. Rohlinger was called out at second while trying to advance, ending the inning.
Trevor Bauer started on the mound for the Clippers and held the Braves through the third inning. Bauer struggled with control through the innings, but managed to make it out with the board clear until the fourth.
With one out Bauer walked his second batter of the night. The runner stole second and subsequently scored on a double given up by Bauer. Bauer ended the inning with two strikeouts.
The Braves faced Bauer again in the fifth inning, attempting to tie the game. Gwinnett mirrored their fourth inning almost to a tee.
Bauer gave up a walk that would steal second. Once again a double with two outs scored the run, tying the Braves up with the Clippers, 2-2.
Bauer’s struggles continued into the sixth. Gwinnett led off the inning with a fly ball to the warning track in center field, putting a runner on second. After Bauer’s eighth strikeout of the game, he gave up a single, and allowed the Braves to take the lead.
Vinnie Pestano was called into the game to replace Bauer. Pestano ended the inning quickly fanning the two batters he faced.
Columbus answered back late in the sixth with the Braves up, 3-2. Rohlinger came up to bat and bunted to the pitcher. Rohlinger continued to second after a throwing error by the pitcher. Designated Hitter David Cooper drew a walk, and was followed by Matt LaPorta. LaPorta cracked a ground ball down the left field line, sending Rohlinger into home to tie the game for the third time.
With both teams' offenses put on hold, the game continued into the tenth inning. The Clippers' closer Nick Hagadone kept the Gwinnett bats silent early in the inning, giving Columbus a chance to steal the win.
Roberto Perez's patience paid off, leading off with a walk. Tim Fedroff came in to pinch-run replacing Perez on first. Carrera came up with a sacrifice bunt, moving Fedroff to second.
After a pitching change by Gwinnett, Rohlinger stepped up to the plate hitting a bomb out to left field bouncing off the wall, scoring the winning run. Rohlinger couldn’t quite make it to second due to his teammates meeting him between first and second to celebrate the win.
Tremie discussed Rohlinger, “Good for him, he has quite a few good at bats, very reliable.”
The Clippers will return Sunday afternoon to finish the series with Gwinnett before making the trip to Louisville for a two game away stance. Joe Martinez is slated to face Gwinnett starter Sean Gilmartin on Sunday.
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