Clippers Outslug Bats 13-12
Behind one of their best offensive performances of the season Thursday, the Clippers won the final game of their series against Louisville, but even with the strong output at the plate, the victory did not come easily.
Columbus had 18 hits—including six doubles and three home runs—but only managed to defeat Louisville by one run. The Clippers beat the Bats, 13-12, after Louisville came close to matching Columbus’ showing on offense with four homers and two doubles. Columbus starter David Huff outdueled Louisville right-hander Chad Reineke, allowing four runs over 5.2 innings of work compared to the six runs given up by the Bats’ starter.
After the Clippers were seemingly on cruise control through six frames—Columbus led 10-4 heading into the top of the seventh inning—Louisville rallied and put itself within striking distance of earning a series split. The Bats scored four runs in the seventh and four runs in the ninth. The Clippers were not done at the plate, though, and held on to take the series, 3-1, answering Louisville’s solid top of the seventh with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Both teams scored early, with Louisville plating two runs in the top of the first before Clippers’ second baseman Jason Donald put Columbus on the scoreboard with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the first. The Bats had an answer in the second, scoring two runs on two solo home runs from third baseman Mike Costanzo and left fielder Cody Puckett.
The bottom of the third inning was the beginning of the Clippers’ outburst at the plate. Starting the third, Columbus scored nine runs over its next three at-bats, with the Louisville defense having something to do with the Clippers success.
In the third, Columbus scored two runs on two Louisville errors. Gregorio Petit scored when the Bats misplayed a Vinny Rottino flyball. Louisville then booted a Matt LaPorta groundball to short, allowing Rottino to score.
Petit was the main force in the Clippers lineup. The Columbus shortstop went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, five RBIs and three runs scored. Petit has been on a tear of late, going 8-for-his-last-13 and hitting .353 over the last 10 games he played in.
The Columbus bullpen allowed Louisville to get back in the game, as right-hander’s Matt Langwell, Tyler Sturdevant and Bryan Price combined to give up eight runs in just 2.1 innings of work.
Price almost cost the Clippers the game. With Columbus leading, 13-8, in the game’s final inning, Price came in and gave up four runs without recording any outs. Right-hander Dan Wheeler replaced Price, recording the game’s final three outs, ending the game with a strikeout with the tying run on base.