Thanks to a seven run sixth inning, Columbus overcame defensive struggles to beat Louisville 7-4 at Huntington Park.
After four scoreless innings, runs would cross the plate for Louisville in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second and two outs, Denis Phipps lined a single into left. The ball got away from leftfielder Chun Chen and rolled all the way to warning track. The fielding gaffe allowed two runs to score.
Another fielding miscue allowed another Bats to score. With Phipps at second following the Chen error, Kristopher Negron popped it up along the first base line. Both Matt LaPorta and Nate Spears went out to shallow right field to try to catch the pop-up, but neither one of them made the play as the ball dropped to the turf, allowing Louisville to increase their lead to 3-0.
The Clippers struggles with defense continued in the top of the sixth. Louisville's Billy Hamilton ran himself into a run down between second and third. Unfortunately, T. J. House's throw went into center field, allowing the speedy Hamilton to score on the play and give Louisville a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Columbus went to work with their pieces of lumber. LaPorta drove home a run with an RBI sacrifice fly to center. Chun Chen then clubbed a grand slam off the scoreboard beyond the right center field wall, giving the Clippers their first lead of the night.
One more run would come into score on a bases loaded walk by Juan Diaz. By the time the inning came to a close, the 39 minute frame saw 13 batters come to the plate and seven runs cross the plate as Columbus led Louisville 7-4.
That three run advantage for Columbus ultimately stood as the final. House (W, 7-10) got the win for the Clippers. Zach Duke (L, 2-1) took the loss for Louisville. Nick Hagadone (S, 7) closed it out in the ninth.
The Bats and Clippers will wrap up their series with one another on Thursday night. Columbus will send righty Trevor Bauer (6-6, 4.18) to the hill. Louisville will tap the services of right-hander Chad Rogers (4-5, 4.55). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.