By Dave Hart

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Clippers have dangerously flirted with defeat in their last four league games.LSJ Logo incert

Last week they had three straight walk-off victories, after coming from behind in several of those contests.

On Monday they followed a similar script, trailing the Holland Millers 5-0 in the first inning and 9-8 in the seventh.clippers

But Muskegon survived again, scoring the game-tying run in the seventh and adding four runs in the eighth to beat the Millers 13-9 at Marsh Field.

The victory preserved a perfect 20-0 league record for the Clippers, who have already clinched the Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League title with three games left in the regular season.

“That was something, wasn’t it?” said Clippers Manager Walt Gawkowski about the back-and-forth contest. “It wasn’t the start that we envisioned, but we have to give Holland credit. They came out and swung the bats aggressively. I was happy with how were responded. We are very tired and it would have been very easy to mail it in the rest of the way.”

Muskegon will play its final regular season home game Tuesday night against the Shoreline Salmon before closing the season on the road against the Millers and Motor City Mechanics.

The Clippers will then host a five-team, double elimination a regional tournament in Muskegon starting next Thursday, with a chance to qualify for a national tournament.

The Millers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Owen Lukens, an RBI double by Nate Dezwann and a two-run single by Wes Custer.

Muskegon cut into its deficit in the third inning with a three-run homer by Logan Fleener.

The Clippers took a 6-5 lead with three runs in the fourth inning on a bases loaded walk by Jared Burton, a sacrifice fly from Fleener and an RBI groundout by Ryan Mergener.

Holland tied the game 6-6 in the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by Kolbe Peller.

Muskegon pulled ahead 8-6 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Andrew Null and a sacrifice fly from Nick Holt.

The Millers tied the game 8-8 in the sixth inning, scoring on an error and groundout. They took a 9-8 lead in the seventh inning with a solo homer by Peller before the Clippers tied the game 9-9 in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single by Burton.

The Clippers took the lead back for good in the eighth inning, scoring four runs on a two-run homer by Connor Glick and a two-run single from Holt.

Muskegon’s starting pitcher Kyle Lawson ended up with a no-decision, allowing eight runs on eight hits while striking out five batters in six innings.

Reliever Jacob Buchberger picked up the victory, tossing three innings and allowing one run on two hits.