By Dave Hart

MUSKEGON- The Muskegon Clippers entered the final weekend of the season with a chance to spoil their local rival’s postseason hopes.

On Saturday they moved a step closer to achieving that goal.

The Clippers, led by Brian Sobieski’s two home runs, outpowered the Grand River Loggers 9-6 in front of a huge crowd on Sport Clips Night at Marsh Field.

Muskegon is now 17-23 on the season, which is good for fourth place in the league’s Northern Division.

The Clippers will close their season on Sunday at home against Grand River, looking to knock the Loggers completely out of a playoff position. Grand River remains a half game out of second place in the division.

Conner Henderson squares to bunt for Muskegon. Photo/Leo Valdez

and the top two teams make the playoffs.

“It would be nice to knock our rivals out of a playoff spot,”Sobieski said. “We are pretty stoked to be playing for that.”

Clippers Manager Walt Gawkowski was pleased with his team’s effort , particularly after watching it struggle for the past couple of weeks

“That was a great game,” he said. “With all the struggles and disappointments this year, the team could have mailed it in, but they didn’t.

“This was one of their best ballgames of the year.”

The Loggers grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on an infield single by Andrew Stone.

Muskegon responded the next half inning with a two-run homer by Jacob Buchberger that gave the Clippers a 2-1 advantage.

Grand River took a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a two-run home run from Bailey Peterson.

The Clippers stormed back with two runs in the fifth  and three in the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.

Clippers second baseman Nolan Bryant makes the throw to first. Photo/Leo Valdez

Muskegon scored on a wild pitch and a shallow sacrifice fly off the bat of Cameron Bair in the fifth, then added three in the sixth on a solo homer from Sobieski and a two-run single by Bryce Kelley.

The Loggers scored three times in the seventh inning on a wild pitch and two-run single by Logan Hudson to make the score 7-6.

The Clippers increased their lead to 9-6 in the bottom half of the seventh on a two-run home run from Sobieski.

Muskegon was led by Sobieski and Kelley with three hits apiece. Sobieski knocked in three runs while Kelley added two doubles and two RBIs.

Mitch Ashcraft tossed the victory for Muskegon, allowing three runs on nine hits in six innings while striking out two batters.

Zachary Taglieri tossed a 2 2/3 inning save for the Clippers, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out three.