By Dave Hart
MUSKEGON – There was an offensive fireworks display at Marsh Field, just one day prior to Independence Day.
The Clippers jumped all over the Grand Lake Mariners in Game 1 with an easy 14-5 win on Wednesday, but couldn’t remain hot offensively in the nightcap, falling by an 11-4 margin.
Muskegon is now 12-13 on the season, good for a fourth place tie in the Northern Division of the GLSCBL.
The Clippers will look to win the three-game set against Grand Lake on Thursday in the series finale at Marsh Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
“The first game we played pretty well,” said Clippers manager Walt Gawkowski. “The second game we didn’t throw enough strikes and it was very disappointing. This team we are playing is ahead of us in the standings and we needed to beat them to gain ground. We need to put a streak together.”
In the opener, the Mariners led 3-1 after the first inning and 4-1 heading into the bottom of the second frame.
But the Clippers exploded for six runs in the second inning on four hits to take a 7-4 advantage.
Muskegon increased its lead to 8-4 with a run in the fourth inning.
Grand Lake cut its deficit to 8-5 after scoring a run in the fifth inning, but the Clippers responded with two runs to take a 10-5 lead.
Muskegon closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning, tacking on four extra runs.
The Clippers were paced by Austin Eifred with four hits, including a home run, along with five RBIs and three runs scored.
Jimmy Allen added two hits, three RBIs and scored two runs while Josh Holt drove in three runs.
Bryce Davis pitched the win for Muskegon in the opener, allowing five runs on four hits while striking out seven batters in four innings.
The Mariners jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the nightcap before the Clippers countered with three to take a 3-2 advantage after the first inning.
Grand Lake regained its lead with two runs in the second inning to take a 4-3 advantage.
The Mariners added three more runs in the fourth frame and four in the seventh to take an 11-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Clippers closed out the scoring with a single run in that final inning.
Tre Morris paced the Muskegon’s offense during the nightcap with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Micah Allen and Mike Malewitz each had an RBI.
Charles Heil suffered the loss for the Clippers, allowing four runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.