Muskegon Clippers bid farewell to Jamie Potts with a 6-2 win over the Monarchs

By Dave Hart
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – Jamie Potts has had many memorable moments playing baseball in front of local fans, from his days at Oakridge High School to Grand Valley State University to the Muskegon Clippers.

lsj-fb-logoThat long era came to a close for Potts on Friday night, when he played his final game for the Clippers at historic Marsh Field.

It was a happy ending, with the Clippers beating the Michigan Monarchs 6-2 to remain unbeaten at 5-0 on the season.

Jamie Potts, in his last game with the Muskegon Clippers, is given a fine farewell. Photo/Joe Lane

Jamie Potts, in his last game with the Muskegon Clippers, is given a fine farewell. Photo/Joe Lane

Potts was selected in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday by the Texas Rangers. He will report next week to sign his contract and play first base for the Spokane (Washington) Indians, who are the single-A affiliate of the Rangers.

The Clippers honored Potts, a 2011 graduate of Oakridge High School, with a short pregame ceremony.

“I am excited,” said Potts, who went 1-for-4 in his final game, with a single. “I have always dreamed about this since I was a little kid. This is a beginning of a new journey.”

Matt Williams, Jason Ribecky, and Connor Glick each had three hits in the victory, which kept Muskegon in first place in the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League.

The key moment of the game was in the top of the third inning when relief pitcher Nick Eely was summoned to get the Clippers out of a bases-loaded, one out jam with the score tied at 2-2.

Clipper catcher Connor Glick attempts to make the tag at home plate. Photo/Joe Lane

Clipper catcher Connor Glick attempts to make the tag at home plate. Photo/Joe Lane

He replaced starting pitcher Aaron Jensen, who tossed two and one-third innings, giving up two runs on two hits.

Jensen struggled with his command, walking six and hitting a batter with a pitch.

Eely struck out Josh Smith and Jimmy Desana to end the Monarch threat and keep the score tied. He got into another jam in the fourth inning with one out, but stranded runners at second and third base by getting two Monarchs to pop out and strike out.

He picked up the victory, pitching five and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out five batters.

“I had to come into the game and throw strikes,” Eely said. “Getting out of those jams helped get the team going.”

“We have been playing very well this season,” said Clippers manager Walt Gawkowski. “It’s going to make a huge difference without Potts in the lineup.

“(Potts’) presence gives us a certain amount of confidence, but we wish him the best and have to move on without him.”

Jason Ribecky rounds third base for Muskegon. Photo/Joe Lane

Jason Ribecky rounds third base for Muskegon. Photo/Joe Lane

The Clippers opened the scoring in the first inning on an RBI single by Williams, scoring Ryan Mergener to give Muskegon a 1-0 lead.

The Monarchs responded in the second with an RBI ground out by Desana, scoring Smith to tie the game 1-1.

Muskegon regained the lead in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI groundout by Cameron Bair, only to give it up in the top of the third on a bases loaded RBI walk by Jimmy Marx.

Jensen was replaced by Eely, who struck out Smith and Desana to end the Monarch threat.

The Clippers took a 4-2 lead, scoring two runs on an RBI single by Glick and a bunt single from Matt Mandes.

Williams scored on a throwing error by the Monarchs’ third basemen to give the Clippers a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning.

Ribecky scored the final run of the game in the seventh inning on a fielding error by the Monarchs’ left fielder.

 

 

 

 

 

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