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Columbus Clippers win 6-of-8 in opening homestand

The Columbus Clippers secured their fifth come-from-behind win of the young season with a 5-4 victory against the Indianapolis Indians on Thursday, in the last game of an eight-game homestand to start the year.

The Clippers (6-2) gained plenty of experience in tight contests during the homestand as close games and come-from-behind victories were present throughout.

All eight games were decided by three runs or less and five of the eight were one-run games.

Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said he is proud of the way his team has hung tough in tight situations early in the year.

“We have confidence as a club in our ability to score runs,” he said. “We’ve showed early in the season we can come back, score some runs and win games.”

Clippers shortstop Gregorio Petit said his team is made up of resilient competitors.

“We just battle the whole game and never give up,” Petit said after the Clippers 4-3 walk-off win against Indianapolis Monday. “Fighters fight, and that’s how we are.”

In the win Thursday, Columbus found itself trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, taking a significant punch from Indianapolis in the top half of the inning. The Indians scored three runs on a 3-run home run by shortstop Jordy Mercer to take the lead.

Using three consecutive hits to start the inning, the Clippers tied the game at four with an RBI single by center fielder Ezequiel Carrera. Third baseman Russ Canzler gave Columbus the lead with an RBI single of his own, the team’s sixth hit of the inning.

“I thought that was the key in the game for us,” Sarbaugh said. “Coming out that next inning and scoring three was big.”

Scoring the tying run in the fifth inning was Clippers right fielder Chad Huffman. Huffman went 2-for-3 in the game with two runs and a RBI on a home run hit into the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center field.

“I got a change-up up in the zone and I was lucky I got the barrel on it,” Huffman said.

Clippers starting pitcher Corey Kluber struck out eight in five innings allowing four runs on three hits. Kluber has a combined 18 strikeouts in his first two starts.

Columbus begins an 11-game road trip Friday against Louisville, and the team’s confidence is riding high after the successful homestand.

“There’s lots of confidence in this locker room,” Huffman said. “Our expectations are to go in there and win all 11 of them.”

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