HOWELL – The scales tipped heavily in favor of the Muskegon Clippers Wednesday evening as they kept the Michigan Monarchs on their heels in a two-game sweep, 13-1 and 7-6.

Game 1 went smoothly for Muskegon as they knocked in run after run while keeping the Monarchs’ offense in the check. 

In the third inning, Muskegon scored four runs and then followed it up with another six in the fourth inning. In a flash, the Clippers were on top 10-0 and left wondering if the Monarchs’ offense had a pulse. 

What little life their opponent had came out in the bottom of the fifth as the Monarchs scored their only run of that contest. Muskegon promptly answered with three more runs in the top of the sixth to end the evening on top.

Drew Zittel

Drew Zittel was on the mound for the Clippers, walking away with a win after throwing a complete game. Zittel allowed just one run on eight hits while striking out three.

The nightcap was a bit different, but the first two innings were similar to the opener with neither team putting runs on the board. However, Muskegon was once again the first team to strike as two walks and a Monarchs’ fielding error loaded the bases.

Colin Cornwell singled and scored Nicholas Hawkins and Caleb Sanders. Clearly shaken, the opposing pitcher hit the next Muskegon batter with a pitch and was promptly removed by the skipper. 

Sam Lisiak greeted the new pitcher with a fielder’s choice that scored Aaron Piasecki. At the end of the third, the Clippers had a nice 3-0 advantage. Something they build on in the top of the fifth with another run.

That confidence was tested in the bottom of the fifth as the Monarchs found life. With two outs recorded, the Monarchs were walked twice before allowing three consecutive hits, including a three-run home run. Out of nowhere, Muskegon found themselves behind 5-4.

But in the sixth, Muskegon regained the lead off another new pitcher. Piasecki and Cornwell recorded an RBI each to push in front by a single run. The Monarchs came back and tied it up in the bottom of the seventh, leaving each team a chance to win the game in the final stanza.

Muskegon took advantage of that chance in the top of the inning after loading the bases. Cornwell earned a walk to bring Hawkins across the plate and that would prove to be the difference.

Ryan Chamberlain started on the mound for the Clippers, but was given a no-decision after nearly five innings of work. Gavin Sitarz ended up the winning pitcher after two innings of work in which he allowed just one run on three hits.

Colin Cornwell

Offensively, Danny Passinault and Cornwell led the way with three hits each across both games. Cornwell was also tops in RBI with five.

Muskegon is now 28-5 and will finish their regular season on their home field. The Clippers will be back in action at 7:05 p.m. Friday when they host the Monarchs at Marsh Field.