LIMA, Ohio – Fireworks were in short supply for the Muskegon Clippers on Tuesday as they split two close games with the Lima Locos, 5-3 and 2-0.

The evening’s first game was a 5-3 loss for the Clippers as they struggled to answer the opposing offense in the late stages of the game.

An even battle saw both teams record just three hits through the first three frames. The Locos were the only team able to capitalize on those hits, bringing across one run in the bottom of the second inning. Muskegon answered in the top of third when Stoney Smith doubled to right field, scoring Nicolas Hawkins in the process.

With things knotted at 1-1, Lima jumped all over the Clippers defense in the bottom of the fourth. Four hits allowed the Locos to score three runs and take a 4-1 advantage. An additional two Locos hits and silence on Muskegon’s bats in the fifth had Lima sitting ahead 5-1 with just two innings remaining.

The Clippers made a valiant effort to battle back in the top of the sixth. Not a single hit was recorded by Muskegon in that stanza, but the Clippers managed to bring in Smith and Aaron Piasecki thanks to fielding errors and inconsistent pitching from Lima.

Those two runs would be the last of the scoring in the first game, sending the Clippers into the nightcap hoping to earn the split. Matthew Hoover took the loss on the mound for Muskegon, allowing seven hits and four runs through four innings of work. Gavin Sitarz threw two innings in relief.

In the nightcap, it was one inning that made the difference. With both teams struggling offensively throughout, Muskegon pieced together a string of good at-bats in the top of the third.

After Caleb Sanders reached base on an error by Lima’s second baseman, Danny Passinault nullified the effort, hitting into a fielder’s choice. Then, Smith and Piasecki hit back-to-back singles with Piasecki’s hit scoring Passinault.

Luke Kerrins loaded the bases on the next at-bat after taking a pitch to his body. Colin Cornwell stepped up next and brought Smith home, putting Muskegon up 2-0. That score would remain the same through the remaining four innings, resulting in a split between the top two teams in the North Division.

DJ Thompson earned his first win of the year with a complete game shutout that saw him allow just two hits while striking out eight.

Offensively, Smith led the team on the night with a combined 2-for-7 and an RBI. Cornwell led the team in RBI with two on the night.

Muskegon moved to 17-3 with the split and now looks to take the three-game series with a win over Lima (17-7) at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday on the Locos’ home field.