A day after being ran out of Louisville in an eight-run loss the Columbus Clippers (3-7) marched into Victory Field Sunday and beat the two-time defending IL champion Indianapolis Indians (9-2) 10-9. The Indians came in tied for the best 10-game start in team history, but the Clippers made a bid to get out of the IL-West cellar with the win.
The starter for Indianapolis was Phil Irwin (0-2, 16.50 ERA) who went only one and one-third innings allowing seven earned runs on four hits and walking three. All of the damage to him was done in the second inning. For the Clippers Travis Banwart (1-0, 4.66 ERA) couldn't make it out of the fourth and did not factor into the decision. Banwart allowed five runs on five hits and three walks, striking out five. Scott Barnes (1-0, 1.35 ERA) got the win pitching two innings in relief.
The game got much more interesting than it looked it would be after the top of the fourth inning when two runs gave the Clippers a 10-2 lead. The Indians got three in the fourth and one in the seventh to make it 10-6. Nick Hagadone had to come in for his first save after the Indians rallied for three runs in the ninth to make it 10-9. With the bases loaded and two outs Hagadone struck out Gregory Polanco looking to end it.
The eight-run second inning set the tone early for the Clippers. In that inning the Clippers sent 13 to the plate. The Clippers came into the inning trailing 2-0 after the Indians scored a pair bottom one. Columbus loaded the bases with no outs after Jesus Aguilar and David Cooper walked and Matt Carson was hit by a pitch. A two-run single by Tim Fedroff tied the game 2-2.
Things were just brewing offensively for the Clippers. With runners on the corners Audy Ciriaco gave the Clippers the lead with an RBI single. It was a lead Columbus would not relinquish. They added five more runs in the frame, chasing Irwin in the process. The highlight of the inning was a three-run homer to center off the bat of Roberto Perez.
Every starter for the Clippers got a hit in the game and the three through nine hitters had at least one run and one RBI. The Indians also had a great offensive game matching Columbus with 12 hits. Polanco and Andrew Lambo each had two RBI and a run scored and Matt Hague went 3-5 with an RBI and run scored. Michael Martinez went 3-3 with two RBI and a run scored and two walks, finishing a homer shy of the cycle.
The win for Columbus was the first of the season over their IL-West rivals in five tries. The win also gives the Clippers two chances to get their first series win of 2014. The teams will meet again Monday with Trevor Bauer (1-0, 1.50 ERA) the probable starter for the Clippers and Casey Sadler (1-0, 2.08) for the Indians. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch in Indianapolis.