The Muskegon Clippers’ bats started hot in their playoff opener against host Lima on Thursday. But Lima’s pitching settled down, and the Locos eventually rallied and won 9-6.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Friday night at Marsh Field in Muskegon at 7 p.m. The Clippers will have to win to keep their season alive. Game 3, if necessary, would be back in Lima on Saturday.
Austin Eifrid put Muskegon on the board in the second inning with a two-run single. Jimmy Allen’s sacrifice fly gave the Clippers an early 3-0 lead.
Lima responded with a two runs in the bottom half of the second, cutting the Clippers’ lead to 3-2.
Muskegon responded in the third inning by loading the bases with no outs. But the Clippers could only manage a pair of runs, one on a walk that scored Micah Allen and another coming after Noah Hecht hit into a double play, scoring Ty Olejnik.
The host Locos put up another run in the third, leaving the Clippers with a 5-3 lead.
Lima broke open the game with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth, taking a 9-5 lead.
Muskegon’s rallied in the ninth, getting an RBI single from Cooper Peterson that drove in Tre Morris. Morris then stole second and Olejnik walked, but a Shane Easter grounder to third ended the comeback attempt and the game.
Eifrid led Muskegon at the plate, finishing with three hits and two RBIs. Morris and Peterson both finished with two hits apiece.
Muskegon pitcher Bryce Davis did the bulk of the work for the Clippers, going 4 2/3 innings and giving up four hits with eight walks and five strikeouts. Jacob Gilhous took the loss for Muskegon, giving up four runs in the sixth inning on five hits and a walk.