Senzel Goes 2-For-4 in Bats Loss
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A seemingly unstoppable display of home runs was too much for the Louisville Bats (23-39) as they fell 8-1 in the final game of the series against the Columbus Clippers (32-32). The Clippers registered four homers in the game, the last time the Bats surrendered that many was on May 29 against Scranton Wilkes/Barre.
Left-hander Justin Nicolino (2-4, 4.50) took the loss but was unlucky in his opening inning. The Clippers got right to work when Brandon Barnes smacked a 356-foot two-run homer out of the ballpark. Nicolino went three innings, allowing five earned runs from six hits while walking two and striking out two on 60 pitches (39 strikes).
Evan Marshall (1-0, 0.71) earned the win in relief for Columbus. He pitched one inning and recorded one strikeout on eight pitches (six strikes).
Hitting safely for his fifth consecutive game, Nick Senzel opened solidly for the Bats offense. The second baseman continued his dominating streak as leadoff hitter with a single. Since becoming the leading man, he is hitting .522 (12-for-23) and now ranks fifth in the International League in batting average for June, averaging .396 (19-for-48) for the month.
The Clippers continued to attack in the third. Following two walks and a double, Brandon Barnes with his second hit of the game, singled to score Yu Chang. A follow-up double from Francisco Mejia then brought home two more runners to make it 5-0.
Despite Columbus recording a solo homer in the fourth, the Bats finally struck back in the home frame. Dilson Herrera put Louisville on the board when he doubled, was moved to third from a passed ball and was finally brought home by a ground out from Gabriel Guerrero to make it 6-1. Herrera is currently tied for the International League lead in batting average for the month of June with a .419 average (13-for-31).
While the Clippers hitters really started to homer in the fifth, registering two more solos, Louisville managed to get on the board again in the bottom of the seventh. Mason Williams tripled by belting a fly ball to right field. Chadwick Tromp then came up to the plate to score Williams from a sacrifice fly ball making it 8-2.
The Bats made full use of the bullpen in tonight's loss. Zach Neal, Domingo Tapia, Jimmy Herget, Jackson Stephens and Kevin Quackenbush all pitched in to combine for six innings, allowing three earned runs from seven hits, with one walk and 11 strikeouts.
Louisville heads to Toledo for the weekend for a three-game series against the Mud Hens. Jose Lopez (2-6, 4.30) will start for the Bats going head to head against Toledo southpaw Josh Turley (5-2, 4.69). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
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