Moncrief, Clippers dismantle Chiefs 8-3
Columbus plated eight runs on ten hits in Sunday's win over Syracuse.
SYRACUSE, NY - A monster game from Carlos Moncrief propelled the Columbus Clippers to an 8-3 victory on the road against the Syracuse Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.
The right fielder went 3-for-3 on the day, and was a triple shy of batting for the cycle, as the Clippers (22-20) gained the early upper hand on the Chiefs (21-22) by scoring five runs in the first three innings.
With Eliot Johnson already aboard in the first, Giovanny Urshela singled to send Johnson all the way to third. David Cooper then grounded to Syracuse pitcher Aaron Laffey, but his throw got past the first baseman allowing Johnson to score the opening run.
Moncrief led off the second with a single, and Ryan Rohlinger followed him by doing the same thing. Luke Carlin grounded to Brandon Laird at third base, who forced out Rohlinger at second, leaving runners on the corners with two outs. Tim Fedroff drew a walk to load the bases, allowing Johnson to follow with a RBI single to double the Clippers lead.
Laird then fielded a grounder from Urshela, but his error allowed two more runs to score to make it 4-0 Columbus.
Syracuse replied a three-run second inning of its own. Laird came to the plate with two outs and bounced back from his error in the top of the inning with a single. Columbus starter Duke von Shamann went ahead 3-0 against Syracuse’s Sean Nicol, but the shortstop battled and, eventually, roped a RBI double into left.
It only took two pitches for Will Rhymes to take von Shamann deep in the next at-bat and all of a sudden the Clippers advantage was cut to one.
The Chiefs wouldn’t score again the rest of the afternoon, while the Clippers continued to add to their lead.
Moncrief got his second hit of the game when he doubled in the third, and Rohlinger followed by singling to left, allowing Moncrief to score.
The right fielder was involved again in the fifth when the Clippers extended their lead to 7-3. Cooper and Matt Carson both walked to begin the inning, and Moncrief successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners 90 feet.
Rohlinger grounded out to third, but then Justin Sellers recorded his only hit of the day smacking a two-run, two-out double into left field.
The visitors would plate one more run, and this time it was all Moncrief. He hit a 3-2 pitch into right center for just his second homer of the season.
Von Shamann was solid on the mound for Columbus aside from that three-run third inning. Reliever Austin Adams got his second victory of the season after relieving von Shamann in the fifth. Vinnie Pestano pitched the seventh and eighth while Mike Zagurski finished the game with a perfect ninth inning.
The Clippers face off against the Chiefs again on Monday, looking to record the series-clinching victory. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM.