LOUISVILLE, KY - On Saturday night, the Louisville Bats (1-2) fell in game 3 of the four-game home stand against the Columbus Clippers. The Bats started right-handed pitcher Jackson Stephens and started off hot throwing two scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut. He struggled thereafter and finished the night with four innings pitched, gave up eight hits, five earned runs, one walk, and had four strikeouts.
"I think he let his emotions get the best of him and that was the name of the game for him tonight," DeShields said of Stephens' performance. "Hopefully he can learn from tonight."
Clippers starting pitcher, right-hander Adam Plutko, went two and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs, four hits, two walks, and one strikeout.
By the time the third inning rolled around, Stephens' scoreless inning streak was snapped when he gave up two runs in the top of the third off a Bradley Zimmer double to left field, scoring Ronny Rodriguez and Lonnie Chisenhall. The Clippers capped off the top half of the inning by adding on two more runs, giving the Clippers an early 4-0 lead.
The Clippers surrendered that lead in the bottom of the third, as the Bats put up three runs to cut the deficit to one. Dilson Herrera stayed hot following last night's four-RBI performance by singling in Juan Perez. The Bats then added on two more runs to end the third inning.
Clippers extended their 4-3 lead to 8-4 through six and a half innings before the Bats cut into their lead with a two-run home run by Rob Brantly to right field, cutting the Clippers lead to 8-6.
"He swung the bat good last season and in spring training also, so it was a matter of time for him to get going," DeShields said. "A couple of big hits for us tonight got us back in the game and gave us a chance to win the game."
With a two-out rally in the eighth inning, Brantly hit a double that scored Winker and Ervin, tying the game up at 8-8. This late rally wasn't enough, as Richie Schaffer scored on an error in the 10th inning to give the Clippers a 9-8 lead, which ended up being the final score of tonight's game.
The Bats will take on the Clippers in the final game of this four-game series on Sunday at Louisville Slugger Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.