LEHIGH VALLEY – It was a quick, dramatic and well-pitched contest on Saturday night as the Columbus Clippers (52-49) defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (55-46) by a final score of 4-3.
Columbus right fielder Vinny Rottino continued his impressive hot streak in the first inning as he brought in center fielder Ezequiel Carrera with a sacrifice fly that put the Clippers up 1-0 early. Shortstop Jason Donald tacked on another run with a leadoff solo shot in the third inning that made it a 2-0 lead. It was Donald’s fifth home run of the season.
For a while this seemed like it would be more than enough for Columbus starter Chris Seddon (10-5, 3.46 ERA), as he did not allow a single IronPig run until the sixth inning. He went eight innings and gave up three runs on five hits. He never allowed a walk and struck out six on the night.
The two teams traded solo homers in the sixth inning to make it 3-1. It was left fielder Tim Fedroff doing the honors in the top of the inning, as his fourth home run of the year extended the Clippers lead. However, IronPigs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch would also blast his fourth homer of the year in the bottom of the sixth, and this brought his team right back into the game.
The IronPigs were always in the game thanks to some great pitching of their own. Starter Tyler Cloyd (9-1, 2.11 ERA) continued his impressive season with a six-inning performance in which he allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk.
Cloyd was able to avoid his second loss of the season as his team came back to tie the game at three in the seventh inning with back-to-back RBI doubles. IronPig left fielder Domonic Brown notched the first run with a hit to center, and third baseman Michael Martinez brought in the equalizing run with a hit to left. After almost seven innings of completely shutting Lehigh Valley down, Seddon made just a couple mistakes that seemed like they might doom his team.
Luckily for him, he was bailed out in the top of the ninth. Clippers catcher Matt Pagnozzi hit a clutch home run to give his team a late 4-3 lead. It was his fourth of the year, and the third Columbus solo home run of the game. Reliever Frank Herrmann came out to pitch the bottom of the ninth, and he shut the IronPigs down in just three batters. The game ended just two hours and 25 minutes after it began.
The Clippers will play the third game of a four-game series in Lehigh Valley on Sunday afternoon at 5:35 p.m.