Columbus Clippers (CLE) 5, Norfolk Tides 2
The Tides were never really in this games, as both of their runs came in the bottom of the ninth inning. Starting pitcher Terry Doyle, who was coming off of a string of good starts, just fell apart. He gave up eight hits and two walks in just 4 2/3 innings, which resulted in five runs for the Clippers. The big blow came in the fifth inning when Doyle gave up five straight hits with one out. His defense saved him one run as right fielder Henry Urrutia and second baseman Sharlon Schoop combined to throw out a runner at the plate.
Doyle was lifted after that fifth straight hit, and his replacement Richard Rodriguez immediately gave up another run on an RBI single before getting out of the inning. The Clippers didn't score again but it was more than enough.
The Tides offense had seven hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings against Clippers starter Ryan Merritt, but somehow couldn't string enough hits together in a row to score any runs. They had multiple runners on base in three of the first seven innings, but failed. When all ten hits you get in a game are singles, that'll tend to happen.
They finally got on the board in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late. They loaded the bases with no outs on in a very minor-league-type way. Leadoff batter Audry Perez singled, David Lough struck out but reached base on a wild pitch, and Sean Halton walked. The Clippers pitcher, Jeff Johnson, was pretty wild and got pulled before he could do further damage. He was replaced by Carlos Marmol - wait, that guy is still around? He did his job, and the only runs scored by the Tides were on a ground out and and error. Urrutia struck out looking to end the game.
As for individual performances, Sean Halton had a nice game with three singles and a walk. Christian Walker and Audry Perez had two hits apiece.
The Tides and Clippers face off again tonight at 6:36. Chris Jones will be on the mound for the good guys.
Altoona Curve (PIT) 8, Bowie Baysox 7
Oh, this one was a heartbreaker. The Baysox took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth but couldn't hold it as Andrew Triggs blew the save.
The Baysox offense broke out for a seven-run second inning where they sent 12 batters to the plate. They loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning, then the first run of the game came in on a wild pitch. Glynn Davis followed that with a two-RBI double to make the score 3-0, and two batters later Mike Yastrzemski singled Davis in. Trey Mancini then reached on an error that allowed Corban Joseph, who had also reached on an error, to score.
It wasn't until the ninth batter of the inning, Quincy Latimore, came to the plate that the Curve recorded its first out. He and Sisco struck out back-to-back before Garabez Rosa singled in yet another run. By the time Drew Dosch grounded out to end the inning, the Baysox had scored seven run on five hits, a walk, and three errors by the other team.
Unfortunately they didn't score again, and the Curve chipped away at their lead with a single run in the fourth and then four runs in the fifth. Baysox starter Joe Gunkel gave up a walk and two singles to load the bases with one out, then gave up a grand slam to Barrett Barnes. Oops. He wasn't helped by his defense as one of those guys on base should have been out via a foul pop up, but Trey Mancini literally dropped the ball.
That was all of the scoring until the dreaded bottom of the ninth. Having already pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, Andrew Triggs came back out to try and close things out. He did not. He gave up a two-run homer to tie the game, and then an error by shortstop Ozzie Martinez allowed the winning run to get to second base to set up the walk-off hit. What a horrible way to lose, especially in the postseason.
Both Yastrzemski and Rosa had three hits, including a double, in the game. Trey Mancini was 0-for-5 with an error in the field.
Game two of this series is tonight at 6 p.m. Nick Additon is scheduled to start for the Baysox.