The Louisville Bats snapped their seven game losing streak in walk off fashion Saturday night. The Bats picked up a 3-2 win over the Columbus Clippers in ten innings and a Louisville Slugger Field crowd of 11,271 home happy.
After Denis Phipps doubled to start the tenth, Felix Perez singled and Cody Puckett walked to load the bases. After pinch hitter Mike Costanzo lined out to third, it was veteran Willie Harris to the rescue. Harris ripped an RBI single to right field, scoring Phipps and giving the Bats their fourth walk-off win of the season.
The Bats (49-80) improved to 6-7 against the Clippers (66-62) this season and prevented Columbus from gaining any ground in the International League wild card standings. The seven game losing streak snapped by the Bats was their second-longest of the season.
Phipps started the scoring in the second when he crushed a two-run home run to left off Columbus starter Eric Berger. Phipps’ eleventh round tripper was estimated to have traveled 435 feet before landing on Witherspoon Street.
Columbus broke through in the sixth. Gregorio Petit’s leadoff single halted a string of eight straight Clippers retired by Bats starter Pedro Villarreal. The next batter, Tim Fedroff, teed off on a high fastball and crushed his seventh home run of the season, tying the game 2-2.
Fedroff’s homer was the only blemish on an otherwise terrific outing from Villarreal. Villarreal tied a season-high with seven innings pitched, giving up just five hits and two runs while walking just one and striking out eight. His eight strikeouts also tied a season-high.
Both teams threatened in the seventh but could not score. In the top half of the inning, Columbus got a walk from Jared Goedert and a single from Luke Carlin to put runners at the corners. Villarreal was up to the task, though, as he struck out Petit to end the frame.
Neftali Soto led off the home half of the seventh with a single. Two batters later, Phipps ripped a double down the left field line. Soto attempted to score from second but was gunned down at the plate by a strong relay throw from Petit, keeping the Bats from the lead.
Cincinnati Reds right-hander Nick Masset made his fifth rehab appearance for the Bats and tossed a perfect
The Bats and Clippers continue their four-game series Sunday afternoon. Right hander Sean Gallagher (9-9, 4.90 ERA) will be on the hill for Louisville opposed by Columbus righty Jeanmar Gomez (6-3, 2.92 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.
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