COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Louisville Bats (3-5) earned a 11-4 win on the road over the Columbus Clippers (5-3) in the series opener at Huntington Park.
Left-fielder Phillip Ervin came to the plate with runners on first and second in the top of the second and hit a ground rule double to center field scoring first baseman Seth Mejias-Brean. The next batter, center fielder Beau Amaral hit a sacrifice fly to left field bringing in a second run.
The floodgates opened in the Bats' half of the fourth as Louisville put three runs on the board to increase their lead to 5-0. Two walks and three singles plated the three runs as the Bats chase Columbus starter, righty Adam Plutko (0-1, 11.37) after just three-and-two-thirds innings after allowing six hits and four walks.
Bringing in the final run of the fourth, designated hitter Sebastian Elizalde increased his hit streak to eight games to begin the year.
Bats' starter Jackson Stephens (1-0, 8.38) was dealing through the first five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Two run homeruns by the Clippers' Bradley Zimmer and Richie Shaffer closed the books on Stephens' shutout. His day was done in the sixth after five-and-two-thirds innings pitched, allowing seven hits, four runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
Wasting little time, the Bats put up a three-spot of their own in the top of the seventh. The first four batters reach to start the inning, including a Jesse Winker single that plated a run. Later in the inning, Ervin doubled for the second time in the game to pick up his third run-batted-in of the contest. The inning would end with Louisville leading 8-4.
Shortstop Juan Perez chipped in with his first homer of the season in the top of the eight to push the Louisville lead to 9-4. A Seth Mejias-Brean single in the ninth brought in the 10th run of the contest for the Bats, while a Rob Brantly ground out scored the games final run.
Stephens picks up his first career Triple-A win in his second outing of the season.
Game two of the four-game slate is scheduled for Friday at 6:35 p.m. with right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0, 6.00) getting the start for the Bats. On the mound for the Clippers will be lefty Shawn Morimando (0-1, 18.90).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.