Thanks to a double-header sweep on Wednesday, the Louisville Bats were able to take two of three from the Columbus Clippers on the road. The combination of good pitching and timely hitting aided the Bats’ cause.
On the strength of a four-run fifth inning the Clippers took game one of their series with the Louisville Bats by a score of 5-1.
Columbus started lefty T.J. House. Jon Moscot, who is with Louisville on a rehab assignment, took the hill for the Bats.
House pitched six innings and allowed one run on five hits a walk and four strike outs in the win. House only allowed one base runner from the second through the sixth inning. Kyle Crockett pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief of House, allowing one hit and striking out a pair. Jeff Johnson closed out the game for the Clippers.
Moscot, who took the loss, pitched 5.2 innings and was responsible for five runs. He gave up six hits and struck out six.
Each team scored a run in the first inning. Louisville’s Jose Peraza opened with a triple and scored on a Jesse Winker fielder’s choice.
Michael Brantley, rehabbing in Columbus, doubled and scored on a Lonnie Chisenhall sacrifice fly.
The game remained 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth inning when Columbus exploded for four runs. The inning began with a Robbie Grossman single, followed by an Erik Gonzales double. Adam Moore reached on a fielder’s choice; Grossman was tagged out on his way home, for the first out of the inning. Gonzales and Moore advanced to third and second. Gonzales scored on Michael Choice’s ground ball out. Michael Martinez then doubled home Moore for the Clippers second run of the inning.
Joey Butler, hitting for Brantley, sent a Moscot offering over the wall in right-center, adding two more runs.
The Clippers finished with seven hits, Martinez had two. Butler led the team with two RBI.
Louisville evened the series with a 5-4 win in the first game of a seven inning double-header.
Jose Peraza singled and scored the Bats first run in the top of the fourth inning. Joey Butler tied the game at 1-1, in the bottom of the first, on his second home run in as many games.
Louisville sent ten batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Three singles, a double and two walks later the Bats posted three runs in the inning and took a 4-2 lead. Kyle Waldrop plated the Bats fifth run of the game on a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning.
Columbus got close in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs before leaving a pair of runners stranded to end the game.
Ryan Merritt was the winner for Louisville. Merritt pitched 4.2 innings and allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks with three strike outs. Ryan Mattheus was the loser for Columbus.
The Bats swooped in and took the back end of the twin bill by a score 6-1. The only Columbus run came on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning.
Louisville stroked 12 hits off five Columbus pitchers. Tommy Hunter, who continues his rehab, started and lost the game for the Clippers. Hunter only pitched the first inning and allowed one run on three hits.
Jarret Grube was roughed up for three runs on four hits in his 1.2 innings of work. Toru Murata, Tom Gorzelanny and Shawn Armstrong each worked an inning or slightly more in the lopsided loss.
Eight Louisville players with at least one hit in the contest. Right fielder Steve Selsky (3), first baseman Brandon Allen (2) and catcher Ramon Cabrera (2) had multiple hits.
John Smith was the game winner for the Bats. Smith pitched five innings and allowed one run on four hits and two walks, he struck out five.
Columbus hits the road for a four-game set with the Indians at Indianapolis. Louisville hosts Toledo for its season opener.
By Mike Tanchevski