Louisville Bats – 5, Columbus Clippers – 3
The Columbus Clippers looked to get their first home win of the season Friday night against the Louisville Bats. Shawn Morimando didn't make it easy, though, as he allowed runners to get on base early, whether it was from a hit or a walk, which put him in tough spots throughout the game. Erik Kratz helped Morimando escape the first without any damage by throwing out Louisville right fielder Tyler Goeddel, who attempted to steal second.
Morimando did not have the same luck in the second inning, however. With Bats first baseman Seth Mejias-Brean on base, Phillip Ervin, Louisville center fielder, hit a home run to left field to put the Bats up 2-0 early. He threw 91 pitches (51 strikes) in 5.1 innings giving up 7 hits and 5 earned runs, including 2 home runs to Ervin.
Morimando: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 91 pitches (51 strikes), L.
2nd inning: 91 90 73 82 81 90 75 84 90 92 92 83
3rd inning 91 92 91 90 93 78 74 90 92
Hit and miss offense
Tyler Naquin returned to the Clippers as he resumed playing in center field, thus moving Bradley Zimmer over to right. Naquin batted leadoff and went 2-4 with a walk on Friday and also had a few big plays in center field, including back-to-back catches on well hit balls. The other Clipper with two hits was Erik Kratz, one of which was a homerun.
Both teams left runners in scoring position throughout the night. In the sixth inning, Morimando walked in a run with the bases loaded, leaving Louis Head to come in and get out of the mess. Head fell behind in the count early, but battled back to get Zach Vincej to pop out, and struck out Tyler Goeddel to keep the Clippers in the game. The momentum from Head carried over to the bottom of the inning where Richie Shaffer hit a double, knocking in two runs.
Richie Shaffer has gotten off to a hot start this season. Batting .333 with a homerun, three doubles, and 8 RBIs, he’s been a consistent bat in the middle of the order that is someone to keep an eye on. He had a chance to tie up (or win) the game in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, but flied out to end the game. If he continues to keep his strikeouts low, he is someone who will find his way on base more often than not.
The comeback that could have been
The bottom of the eight inning had a close call that went in favor of the Bats. With Bradley Zimmer at second and Giovanny Urshela at first, Shaffer hit a ground ball which appeared to be able to get through the infield, but a diving play by shortstop Zach Vincej, who made a quick throw to third, got the call as Zimmer was forced out at third. Clippers manager Chris Tremie, upset with the call, came out to argue with the umpire. What could have been bases loaded and no outs became runners on first and second with one out, and the Clippers let the momentum slip away.