Clippers rally from a six-run deficit to defeat Bloomfield 12-6 in a wild game at Marsh Field

By Dave Hart and Steve Gunn
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – Now the Muskegon Clippers can say they’ve beaten every team in their league at least once this season.LSJ Logo incert

And they completed that task on Friday night the hard way.

The Clippers appeared to be headed for a sound whipping in their first game against the Bloomfield Sting, trailing 6-0 after four innings and 6-3 after seven.

Clippers pitcher Jacob Gividen throws a pitch past a swinging Bloomfield player. Photo/Jason Goorman

Clippers pitcher Jacob Gividen throws inside on a  Bloomfield batter. Photo/Jason Goorman

But then they exploded for nine runs in a huge eighth inning, all with two outs, and walked away with a thrilling 12-6 victory in front of a happy crowd at Marsh Field.

Muskegon, the first place team in the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League, improved to 13-2 on the season.

The Clippers will complete the three-game series against Bloomfield with a home doubleheader on Saturday. The first game starts at 4:30 p.m.

“This was a momentum builder for sure,” said Clippers shortstop Connor Seymour, who knocked in the tying run with a single in the big eighth inning and finished with two hits and three RBIs.

“We have a really gritty group of guys. They are all collegiate athletes and they hate losing. Every time we come to the ball field we’re ready to go.”

Muskegon's Kyle Wise slides into home head first. Photo/Jason Goorman

Muskegon’s Kyle Wise slides into home head first. Photo/Jason Goorman

The Clippers showed few signs of life in the first four innings against Bloomfield starting pitcher  Skylar Janisse, who pitched 7 ⅔ innings while striking out 10 and walking only two.

He had a three-run lead headed into the eighth inning and appeared to be in command.

But the Clippers started hitting the ball hard at that point. Janisse got the first two outs on two long fly balls, then gave up a double and was pulled from the game.

That’s when the floodgates opened. The Clippers sent 16 men to the plate in the inning to catch up and pull ahead for good.

Jackson Overlund had the double to chased Janisse from the game, then the Clippers loaded the bases with a single from Connor Glick and a walk by Adrian Anderson.

Matt Mandes walked in a run to cut the Clipper deficit to 6-4. Cameron Bair added an RBI when he was hit by a pitch, pulling Muskegon within one, then Seymour singled home Anderson for the tying run.

Ryan Mergener walked in the go-ahead run, then the Clippers added insurance runs with a two-run double from Matt Williams, a two-run RBI single by Kyle Wise, and an RBI single from Anderson.

There was a bit of pushing and shoving near home plate during the decisive inning, with the Sting players showing signs of frustration.

“Early in the game we just didn’t do much on offense,” said Clippers Manager Walt Gawkowski. “I was really proud of our guys in how we hung around.

“I hated to see the game get chippy, but it may have lit a fire under us.”

Bloomfield got one run in the first, three in the third and two in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. The big blow came from Brady Volmering, who blasted a two-run homer over the Marsh Field scoreboard in right field in the fourth.

Muskegon starting pitcher Jacob Gividen pitched six innings and left trailing 6-3.

Relief pitcher Brandon Melchert played a huge role for the Clippers by throwing three hitless innings and striking out seven, which allowed the big comeback to occur.

“Melchert gave us three outstanding innings of middle relief,” Gawkowski said. “He changes speed so well, he gave us a huge lift.”

Wise led the Clippers with three hits, including a double, and knocked in two runs. Williams had two RBIs.

 

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