The Columbus Clippers finished off their season-opening series against the Indianapolis Indians with another impressive offensive performance, winning 9-4.
Brian Buscher led the offensive output with three hits, an intentional walk, an RBI and one run scored.
Yohan Pino earned a win in his first start of the season. Pino allowed six hits through five innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
“I feel good about our starting pitching,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “Some of the conditions the first few games had some things to do with the offensive numbers that were put up, but I think the last two nights, the ballpark played the way it’s going to play for the rest of the year. We used the bullpen more than we would’ve liked to, but we made it through so far, and we’ll come back tomorrow and get after it again.”
Carlos Santana homered in the first inning to put the Clippers up 1-0. Santana’s home run was his fourth in the first four games of the season.
The Indians came back with two runs in the fourth inning. Steven Pearce hit a triple to start the rally. Neil Walker and Luke Carlin both had RBI singles to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.
The Clippers responded in the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs to regain the lead. Buscher started the inning with a double, and scored on a single by Damaso Espino. After Jose Constanza hit a double to send the runners to second and third base, Trevor Crowe hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Espino.
Frank Herrmann entered in relief for the Clippers in the sixth inning. Herrmann pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. He displayed a very strong arm, at one point reaching 98 mph on the radar.
“Herrmann came in with a 3-2 lead, any time you can come in and put up zeros it really gets us back into the dugout ready to add on to the lead, which we did in the seventh inning,” Sarbaugh said.
The Clippers blew the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring six more runs as they batted around the order. The Indians went through three pitchers in the seventh inning, allowing six hits, a walk and an error in relief pitcher Steven Jackson.
Carlton Smith pitched the eighth inning for the Clippers, allowing one hit but holding the Indians to no runs.
Jess Todd pitched the ninth inning, giving up three hits and two runs, one unearned.
The Clippers scored 41 runs in the four games. They entered Sunday’s game leading the International League in batting average, runs, hits, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
“I think we have a good offensive club, and at the same time, field conditions helped us out the first couple nights,” left fielder Trevor Crowe said. “We’ve been getting good pitches to hit and hitting them well.”
The Clippers showed some explosiveness with a 17-4 win over Indianapolis on Thursday night. Carlos Santana showed why he is considered a top prospect with four hits, including two home runs and four RBIs.
On Friday, the Clippers and Indians broke the record of most home runs in one game at Huntington Park. The teams combined for nine home runs, nearly doubling the previous record of five. The Clippers lost the game 14-12.
On Saturday, the Clippers fell to the Indians 4-3. A 3-3 tie was broken in the top of the eighth inning when Brandon Moss hit a solo home run to take the lead. The Indians held off the Clippers for the final two innings and earned the win.
The Clippers continue their homestand Monday against the Louisville Bats. Louisville is off to a 3-1 start after defeating the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday.