Columbus Clippers 4, Gwinnett Braves 5
Box Score · Clippers trail 0-1
The Columbus Clippers almost began their Governors’ Cup title defense with a dramatic walk-off, but it fell just short.
The Clippers entered the bottom of ninth down, 5-2, with Todd Hankins, Yandy Diaz, and Guillermo Quiroz slated to take at-bats. Hankins grounded out immediately, but Diaz singled, then Quiroz plated him with a huge home run. Unfortunately, Giovanny Urshela and Jesus Aguilar both flied out to end the game.
Even the power of a random rally kitten found at Huntington Park was not enough to help them, apparently.
Columbus matched the Gwinnett Braves hit-for-hit, each team concluding the game with 10. Diaz was incredible, and the only Clippers batter with a multi-hit game. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored.
Adam Plutko pitched a strong seven innings of work for Columbus, striking out four and walking one. He allowed just two runs, but reliever Austin Adams was roughed up in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing three more runs to cross the plate.
The Clippers will look to even up the series tonight at 6:35 p.m ET. Free tickets are still available for anyone in the area.
Akron RubberDucks 12, Altoona Curve 8
Box Score · RubberDucks lead 1-0
Game 1 was not always a pretty sight for the Akron RubberDucks, down, 7-3, at the start of the seventh inning. Luckily, the ‘Ducks exploded for six runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth.
Mike Papi and Eric Stamets both homered in the game. Five ‘Ducks batters had multi-hit games (everyone at least had one), including Stamets’ four hits and Papi’s three.
Julian Merryweather had a rough start, allowing seven earned runs over his five innings. He did strikeout six and only walked one, however. Grant Sides, Cole Sulser, and Louis Head combined to throw 4.0 innings with one earned run.
Game 2 of this series will take place tonight, with first pitch coming at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Lynchburg Hillcats 0, Potomac Nationals 7 (F/7)
Box Score · Hillcats trail 0-1
These are not the Lynchburg Hillcats we’ve grown to love over the summer. Only two Hillcats batters had hits — Tyler Krieger and Connor Marabell — while everyone else struck out three times and drew just one walk. Even Francisco Mejia, who ripped off an incredible 50-game hitting streak earlier this season, was blanked.
Matt Esparza allowed three runs over three innings with three strikeouts and three walks.
Last night’s game started late due to rain, but tonight’s game — with Lynchburg’s season on the line — is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.