The Columbus Clippers defeated the Louisville Bats, 4-3, in the second game of the four-game series Wednesday night at Huntington Park.
Left fielder Jerad Head went 3-for-5, and hit the Clippers’ winning RBI.
Head’s bat came on at the right time, having gone 1-for-4 in his the last game against Louisville.
“That’s the type of player he is,” Manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “That’s why he has done so well here.”
Alex White pitched for Columbus, going seven innings and allowing five hits, two runs, two errors. He struck out seven batter and walked none.
Louisville used Dontrelle Willis, the two-time All-Star remembered for leading the Florida Marlins to the 2003 World Series title. Willis was on minor-league assignment after signing with the Cincinnati Reds before the 2011 season.
The evening started out with a pitching duel for three scoreless innings.
“You gotta give him credit,” Sarbaugh said. “He threw well.”
Louisville was the first to erase its bagel on the board when designated hitter Yonder Alonso collided with Clippers catcher Luke Carlin at the plate after first baseman Daniel Dorn doubled, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead.
Louisville extended its lead to 2-0 when third baseman Todd Frazier singled, brining in catcher Devin Mesoraco, who snuck under the tag at home.
Willis laughed and joked with his teammates. He came into the game having pitched 12 scoreless innings on the year, and extended his streak to 17 before giving.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Chad Huffman, on his first pitch, blasted his first home run of the year.
“It’s funny,” Sarbaugh said. “Luke Carlin said before we hit that home run, ‘Come on, we gotta give him at least one earned run for the season.'”
Willis was then taken out of the game, having pitched five innings with six hits, one run, one error, two walks and four strikeouts.
Columbus tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Carlin’s center-field crack hit the yellow line on the wall.
The Clippers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Carlin’s RBI double brought in designated hitter Luis Valbuena, making it a 3-2 Columbus lead.
After pitcher Josh Judy went in for Columbus in the ninth, Dorn walked and then subbed out for infielder Michael Griffin to pinch run.
Third baseman Todd Frazier singled, moving Griffin to third. Griffin then came home when second baseman Chris Valaika popped out, allowing Griffin to tag up and scoot home, tying the game, 3-3.
Head’s moment came in the bottom of the ninth. With third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on third with the bases loaded, Head crushed a ball over second base, giving Columbus the win.