By Dave Hart
They demonstrated that on Saturday with a 5-1 and 6-2 sweep over the Bloomfield Sting at Marsh Field.
The victories completed the three-game weekend series sweep over Bloomfield and extended the Clipper winning streak to four games. The Clippers have now swept all three doubleheaders they’ve played this season.
First place Muskegon is now 15-2 on the season, and has at least a four-game lead over the rest of the field in the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League.
The biggest hero of the day was Clippers utility player Cameron Bair, who caught the second game of the doubleheader.
He blasted a two-run double over the head of the Bloomfield center fielder in the seventh inning of the nightcap, allowing the Clippers to overcome a one-run deficit and sew up the sweep.
“He had me down 0-2,” said Bair, speaking of Bloomfield pitcher Jesse Rometty. “I was sitting on a fastball and got one right down the middle.”
The Clippers took control right away in the first inning of the opener, scoring three runs.
Kyle Wise knocked in Nick Holt with a single and Jackson Overlund knocked in Matt Williams with a double. The third run, scored by Wise, came home on an error by the Bloomfield first baseman.
Muskegon scored its other two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Connor Glick, who led off the inning with a single, scored on an error by the Bloomfield left fielder. Holt followed with an RBI groundout that knocked in Bair.
Bloomfield’s only run came in the second inning.
Adrian Anderson had two hits in the game while Wise, Overlund and Holt each had RBIs for Muskegon.
Tim Tarter pitched the win for the Clippers, tossing six innings while allowing three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Williams pitched the seventh (and final) inning for the victory.
Bloomfield pitcher Robert Cleary rang up 12 strikeouts in the losing effort.
The Clippers had to rally to capture the win in the second game.
Bloomfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Jeff Rousseau singled, took second on a bunt, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.
The Clippers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a home run by Williams, who blasted a pitch over the left field fence near the 365-feet marker.
Williams’ homer was actually a second-chance shot, because one pitch earlier he hit a foul fly ball that was dropped by the Sting third baseman.
Williams finished the game with two hits and two RBIs.
Bloomfield took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Aaron Loconsole singled home Freddy Jehle.
But the Clippers rallied again, and took the lead for good, in the bottom of the seventh inning when Bair’s long double scored Wise and Overlund.
Muskegon added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Williams doubled and drove home Ryan Mergener, then eventually scored from third on a wild pitch. Wise also singled and eventually scored on another wild pitch, putting Muskegon up 6-2.
Starting pitcher Kyle Lawson got the win for the Clippers, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings. Relief pitcher Jordan Drake held Bloomfield scoreless in the final two innings.
“It always comes down to pitching,” said Clippers Manager Walt Gawkowski. “The guy on the bump is always the important guy.
“We are scuffling a little bit on offense and we did just enough this weekend to make it through and our pitching carried us the rest of the way.”