Monday afternoon in Columbus featured a pitchers' duel to cap off the 2015 season. The Mud Hens sent their right-handed Aussie to the mound in Warwick Saupold, and the Clippers threw right-hander Will Roberts. Both starters pitched well, and runs were at a premium. In Larry Parrish's last game before retirement, the Hens extended his stay by playing 15 innings. They ended his tenure on a high note, though, getting a huge extra-inning home run from an unlikely source to win the game 4-2.
Saupold started extremely strong, getting an easy one-two-three first inning, capped off by a strikeout of Jesus Aguilar. In the second, he got a fly out from Zach Walters to start the inning, and then struck out the next two hitters he faced. He started the third by striking out James Ramsey, his third in a row. In the fourth, Saupold allowed his first base runners of the day, and then blinked by giving up a run. After that though, he settled in, throwing six innings of one run ball and striking out seven batters along the way.
In the top half of the eighth inning, the Mud Hens were finally able to break through and get on the board. Will Roberts exited after six and a third innings, and then Michael Roth and Sean Marcum got the Clippers through the seventh. With one out in the eighth, Corey Jones singled, and then Josh Wilson reached on a throwing error by shortstop Erik Gonzalez. Toledo took advantage of the error, as Miguel Gonzalez singled up the middle to score Jones, tying the game at 1-1.
However, Columbus answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, taking a 2-1 lead on a two-out RBI single from Tyler Holt. The Mud Hens had a chance for a big ninth inning, but it was slowed down when Alberto Gonzalez was thrown out trying to advance home on a passed ball. With two outs though, Jefry Marte gave his team some life by mashing his 15th home run of the year, tying the game at 2-2. The Clippers weren't able to score in the bottom of the ninth, so there was free baseball in Columbus.
In extra-innings, the bullpen of the Mud Hens was masterful. Rafael Dolis threw three scoreless innings, and Guido Knudson followed with two scoreless innings of his own. In the 13th inning, Alberto Cabrera came on and threw two scoreless innings to keep the score tied at two. In the top of the 15th with two outs, Miguel Gonzalez singled to put a runner on for Toledo. Trayvon Robinson then stepped to the plate and did something that he hasn't done since joining the Mud Hens. In a 1-1 count, Robinson ripped Tyler Sturdevant's pitch over the right field fence for his first home run of the year, giving Toledo a 4-2 lead. Joe Mantiply came on in the bottom half of the inning, and slammed the door on the Clippers, sealing a victory for the Hens in their last game of the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.