Muskegon Clippers go cold in loss to Holland, bringing their nine-game winning streak at Marsh Field to an end

By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Clippers played a little rusty Monday night at historic Marsh Field.

They hadn’t played in six days and couldn’t continue their home-field magic in a 5-2 loss to the Holland Millers.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” said Clipper Jason Ribecky, a former Muskegon Catholic and Muskegon Community College standout, who belted a solo homer in the second inning. “That’s the way baseball is. It’s a game of failures. But we get to bounce back and play again in two days.”

Muskegon (12-4), which saw its nine-game home winning streak come to an end, will travel to Holland Wednesday and continue its chase toward a title in the six-team Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League.

The Clippers started Monday night tied for first place with the River City Rapids, which is based out of Grand Rapids.

Holland broke open a 2-2 tie by scoring two runs in the fifth inning and added an unearned insurance run in the ninth to claim its first win against Muskegon in four tries.

Ribecky’s solo home run was a highlight for the large Clippers’ crowd at Marsh Field.

“It was a changeup,” said Ribecky, who hit the homer to right center field off Holland starter Currey Thomas (Hope College). “I was looking fastball, but I picked up the seams. I got lucky and put the bat on the ball.”

Muskegon also received an RBI single from John Jackoviak (Kalamazoo College) in the fourth inning that scored Aaron Overbeck (Grand Valley State).

The Clippers finished with seven hits, but couldn’t put much pressure on the Millers after the fourth inning. Muskegon wasted a leadoff double by Kevin Carroll (Grand Valley) in the sixth.

Muskegon Catholic’s Connor Seymour (Davenport), Oakridge’s Jamie Potts (Grand Valley), Brian Barnes (Muskegon Community College) and Overbeck each added a base hit for the Clippers.

“We couldn’t get anything going on the base paths tonight and create any scoring chances,” Clippers’ coach Walt Gawkowski said. “They played better than we did tonight. We were not opportunistic and we didn’t cash in.”

Muskegon starting pitcher Aaron Jensen (Grand Valley) struggled with his control. He walked seven, allowed two runs and exited in the third inning when his pitch count reached 90.

Reliever Nick Eely (Davenport) of Oakridge went the final 5 2/3 innings for the Clippers, allowing five hits and striking out two.

Pat Gaudard (Jackson CC) and Aaron Fadden (Grand Rapids CC) each had two hits for Holland.

Muskegon’s schedule picks up with 14 games over the next three weeks. The next home date is Monday at 7 p.m. when Holland returns to Marsh Field.

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