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Clippers split Memorial Day doubleheader with Louisville

The Columbus Clippers shut out the Louisville Bats 1-0 in the first game of a Memorial Day doubleheader Monday.

The Clippers’ only score came during the bottom of the first inning. Brian Bixler first doubled on a fly ball and Carlos Santana followed with a single that sent Bixler home.

Wes Hodges singled on to right field, sending Santana to third, but Jordan Brown grounded into a double play by Bats’ first baseman Yonder Alonso and shortstop Zack Cozart, bringing the first inning to a close.

Out of the 22 batters he faced during the game, Clippers’ pitcher Justin Germano allowed just one single to Drew Sutton in the second inning.

“Justin threw the ball really well,” Clippers pitching coach Charles Nagy said. “For him to go out and pitch the way he did today, pitching the whole game, it was a big lift for us. He’s a professional pitcher so he knows what he’s doing out there.”

Bats’ pitcher Chad Reinke faced the same number of batters but allowed six hits, and Louisville sent in Joseph Krebs in the bottom of the fifth inning to finish the game.

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Columbus was defeated 16-2 in the second game of a doubleheader with Louisville Monday.

Coming off the first game with only one hit, Louisville looked like a different team, putting up big numbers on the scoreboard.

“That’s why baseball’s a great game,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “You never know from one game to the next. Justin Germano was really on in the first game and we just struggled to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters in the second game.”

Chris Burke scored first for the Bats in the first inning off Wladimir Balentien’s sacrifice fly hit to right fielder Jordan Brown.

The Clippers put up two runs in the bottom of the first, their only scoring of the game.

Michael Brantley singled then stole second with Brian Bixler at bat, who grounded out, sending Brantley on to third. Wes Hodges followed, grounding out to first baseman Yonder Alonso, allowing Brantley to score.

Jordan Brown doubled on a fly ball to right field and Chris Gimenez followed suit, doubling on a line drive to left field, sending Brown to score.

The Bats answered right back with three runs in the top of the second inning.

Todd Frazier grounded out with the bases loaded and Michael Griffin scored.

Burke followed Griffin’s score with a home run, giving the Bats a 4-2 lead.

Louisville continued their scoring streak in the third inning, putting up two more runs, making the score 6-2.

Alonso scored on Griffin’s line drive single and Balentien found home when Chris Valaika doubled on a fly ball to right field.

The Clippers opted for a pitcher change and sent in Francisco Jimenez to replace Jeremy Sowers.

Louisville doubled their score in the fifth inning, starting with a score from Balentien off a single from Griffin. Valaika singled on a line drive to Brantley, sending Luis Terrero home and loading the bases, allowing Griffin to score on the next play.

Denove and Valaika both scored on Burke’s single to left field and Burke scored soon after on Alonso’s double to right field.

The Clippers replaced Jimenez with Vinnie Pestano as their third pitcher of the game and ended the fifth inning without any further scoring.

The Bats put up four more runs in the sixth inning. Denove scored first on Zack Cozart’s walk, followed by a double by Alonso, sending both Valaika and Burke home.

Cozart scored the final run of the game off Balentien’s groundout.

“We got on the board early and then just got behind and really didn’t put much together,” Sarbaugh said.
 

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