Columbus Clippers 8, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (box)
The Clippers jumped on starter Pedro Payano for six runs and cruised to victory over the Hens on Sunday. After three-run burst in both the first and the top of the fourth, the Clippers were already up 6-0. In the bottom of the inning, Riley Greene led off with a single, and after Zack Short popped out, Kody Clemens reached on a ground ball and Josh Lester drilled a single to load the bases for Ryan Kreidler. The shortstop came through with a two run single. A walk and then a balk brought Lester home from third, and the Hens were back in the game. Unfortunately, the offense just couldn’t get anything going the rest of the way. Hector Martinez allowed a pair of runs in the eighth, and that basically put this one to bed. Riley Greene did mash a solo shot to left-center field in the ninth, giving the fans a taste of what they came to see. Spencer Torkelson had the day off.
Greene: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 SO
Kreidler: 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SO
Coming Up Next: The International League now heads into its weird 10-game tournament to end the season. We’re probably not going to pay much attention to the details there, and just cover the games and the players, as the format bears no resemblance to any kind of legit playoffs. As a result, the Hens will now have two days off before headed to Louisville for five games with the Bats. They’ll finish the season next week with five at home against St. Paul.
Richmond Flying Squirrels 3, Erie SeaWolves 1 (box)
In the SeaWolves final game of the 2021 season, Elvin Rodriguez put together a nice outing but the offense didn’t break though until the bottom of the ninth. It proved too little too late. Rodriguez spun five scoreless frames with four punchouts to a walk and two hits allowed. Jesus Rodriguez took over in the sixth and for three innings matched Rodriguez’s performance.
The offense had its best chance in the bottom of the fourth. Andre Lipcius and Dane Myers started the inning with back-to-back singles, and things looked promising. However, Andrew Navigato, Chris Proctor, and Eric De La Rosa all struck out to snuff that threat. Daniel Cabrera doubled with two outs in the fifth but was thrown out trying to take third as well.
In the top of the ninth, Jesus Rodriguez finally broke, allowing two hits and a walk, with one run in. Zack Hess took over but gave up a two-run double before closing out the inning. Navigato hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to break up the shutout.
E. Rodriguez: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 4 SO
West Michigan Whitecaps 19, Lansing Lugnuts 4 (box)
The Whitecaps closed out their 2021 campaign by torching the Lugnuts in Lansing. They mashed six home runs, with Jake Holton, Rey Rivera—his 21st on the year, Parker Meadows, Gage Workman, and Eliezer Alfonzo all going yard. Holton and Meadows each had a pair of doubles in the contest as they mashed and mashed some more to close out the season in style. Austin Bergner and Isrrael De La Cruz combined for seven innings of two run ball with eight strikeouts. RJ Petit allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth as the Lugnuts tried to finish on a high note. The Whitecaps finish with a 58-62 record on the year.
Holton: 3-5, 4 R, RBI, HR, 2 2B, BB, SO
Workman: 1-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB, SO
Meadows: 3-5, 3 R, 5 RBI, HR, 2 2B, SO
Perez: 2-5, R, RBI, BB, 2 SO
Lakeland Flying Tigers 7, Bradenton Marauders 2 (box)
The Flying Tigers showed out in their final series of the year, beating up on Bradenton to take the series 5-1. Chris Meyers got the party started in the first with a two-run double on a soft pop-up to center that Bradenton made a mess of. It was Meyers again in the third, doubling home Ben Malgeri and then scoring on a Kingston Liniak single. Liniak later doubled home Meyers in the fifth as well. Meanwhile, Carlos Guzman gave up a run in the first and one in the fifth, but was otherwise strong to finish out a tough year trying to return from injury.
The Flying Tigers finish with a 55-63 record on the year. The players will now get a month and change off for a break before instructional league work starts up.
Meyers: 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B
Malgeri: 2-5, 2 R, 2B, SO
Guzman (W, 7-9, 4.65 ERA): 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO