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Bats beat Clippers on game-winning homer by Janish in 9th, 5-4

Game report courtesy of Columbus Clippers



50,315 Zach McAllister Clippers starting pitcher

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COLUMBUS, O. — Columbus rallied from a late deficit, but the Louisville Bats spoiled Opening Night by a 5-4 final score at Huntington Park.


The win by the Bats spoiled the opening night celebration of the 2012 championships of the International League and Triple-A by the Clippers. The players received their championship rings which were handed to them by Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, members of Columbus City Council, Franklin County Commissioners and Columbus Clippers Board of Directors members.

Paul Janish (courtesy of


One player who received his championship ring last night now plays for rival Louisville. Josh Judy was given his ring and a big “thank you” handshake from Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh. Judy said he “really enjoyed playing in Columbus and appreciated the loyal of the fans.”

Ezequiel Carrera (courtesy of Columbus Clippers)


Early on, it looked like the Clippers would get off to a roaring start offensively. Ezequiel Carrera singled to lead off the inning. Cord Phelps followed that with a double to right field to put runner on second and third with nobody out. After a Matt LaPorta fly-out to centerfield, Russ Canzler sent a fly ball to centerfield that was caught by Louisville’s Denis Phipps. Carrera tried tagging up from third and seemed safe, but was called out on a close play at home to end the inning. Replays and photos showed the Carrera actually was safe, touching the plate well before catcher Corky Miller tagged him.


Unlike the Clippers, the Bats would get on the board first in the very next inning. With a runner on 1st and nobody out, Danny Dorn smashed a two-run homer off of Clippers starter Zach McAllister over the right field porch to give the Bats an early 2-0 lead.


Louisville would strike again with the long ball in the top of the third when Chris Valaika hit a solo shot of his own to right field to increase the Bats advantage to 3-0.


The Clippers needed to get a rally going and they would do just that in the bottom of the 4th. After a Cord Phelps groundout to the pitcher, Matt LaPorta walked. Russ Canzler then hit a sharp grounder to Louisville shortstop Paul Janish that Janish couldn’t handle, allowing Canzler to reach safely. That would bring Lonnie Chisenhall to the plate. Cowhide would meet lumber as the Clippers scored their first run of the 2012 season. The Clippers were not done. The very next batter, Ryan Spilborghs, in his Clippers debut, said hello with this big hit. The next batter, Andy LaRoche, was hit by a pitch which kept the inning alive, but Luke Carlin struck out swinging to end the frame.


Louisville would get one of those runs back in the top of the 7th when Paul Janish stroked a homer over the left field wall that just eluded the glove of Russ Canzler, giving the Bats a 4-2 lead.


Columbus needed to rally once again as they began the 7th inning. Ryan Spilborghs led off the frame with a walk. After an Andy LaRoche strikeout and a Luke Carlin fly-out to centerfield, Gregorio Petit hit a line drive to left field that bounced off the glove of Bats outfielder Daryl Jones. That put runners on second and third with two outs. Ezequiel Carrera then came to bat with his team needing a big hit and Carrera delivered with what looked a three run home run that traveled over the right field wall. It was called a double, much to the chagrin of Clippers fans, so Carrera tied the game with that extra base hit. Replays showed the ball actually hit above the yellow line on top of the Wendy’s Homerun Balcony for a home run.


The game would remain tied until the top of the ninth when Louisville’s Paul Janish crushed a two out solo shot off of right-hander Chris Ray to left center field, giving the Bats a slim 5-4 lead.


Chris Ray (0-1) was hit with the loss for Columbus. Ron Mahay (1-0) picked up the win for Louisville.



* Clippers DH Andy LaRoche is the sixth father/son combo to play for the Clippers. His dad, Dave Laroche played for Columbus. His brother is Adam LaRoche, who plays for the Washington Nationals. They were teammates in 2008, 2009 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

*Clippers starter Zach McAllister had never been the Opening Day pitcher since he has been in professional baseball. He said high school would’ve been the last time.


Portions of this article was written by


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