September 15, 2015

Since the minor league regular season generally ends the first week of September, you know it has to be something good to be this late and the only game played by an Indians affiliate on September 15th from 2015 through 2019 was this Clippers v Indianapolis Indians Governors’ Cup game in 2015.

Ryan Merritt got the start for Columbus against Chris Volstad in game one of the five game set. The Indians got off to a great start as the first two hitters of the game singled, then the #3 hitter bunted for some reason. As always, this ruined an otherwise high potential inning as Erik Gonzalez made the second out by throwing home on a ground ball before Merritt got another ground out to end the inning. This could have been run would end up being incredibly important.

Over the next inning and a half, only Yandy Diaz reached (single) for either team. In the third, however, both teams crossed the plate for the first time. Merritt allowed two singles with a wild pitch between to give up the first run of the game, although he was aided by an unassisted double play by Jesus Aguilar to keep the scoring limited. He continued to help the cause in the bottom half as he followed singles by James Ramsey and Tyler Holt with an RBI one base hit of his own.

Indianapolis continued to rack up the hits in the fourth against Merritt. Josh Bell singled, followed by a Keon Broxton walk. Broxton was out on a ground ball, so when Dan Gamache singled it scored just one. Gustavo Nunez singled to load the bases, but defense saved the game again as Yandy Diaz snagged a grounder and made the force out at third to end the inning.

Things calmed down after as both starters made it through the sixth with the score still 2-1 Indians. Merritt stayed in to start the seventh, but was pulled from the game following two singles and another failed sac bunt to start the inning. While the bunt failed as Merritt caught the lead runner, reliever Trey Haley gave it back with a wild pitch. Both runners would then score after a ground ball and passed ball. Following a walk by Bell, Haley threw another wild pitch, gave up a single, steal, passed ball and walk as the Indians increased their lead to 5-1 over Columbus.

With a solid lead, the Indians pulled Volstad before the bottom of the sixth and the Clippers started their comeback against the bullpen. Michael Choice and Gonzalez doubled with a Holt single between. After a pitching change, Zach Walters singled home the second and third runs of the inning, then Adam Moore doubled home Walters.

Joseph Colon came in for the eighth and struck out a pair in a perfect inning. With the game tied, Audy Ciriaco then gave the Clippers the go ahead run with a home run to lead off the bottom half. Colon then stayed on to finish out the game and again struck out a pair in a perfect inning.

In all, there were 11 runs scored and 23 hits including at least one by every member of the Clippers. Future big leaguer Gorkys Hernandez lead the way with three hits while six other players had a pair.

The win gave the Clippers advantage in the series as they headed into game two which would also be played in Columbus. I bet you’ll be able to hear all about that game and the rest of this series in the Indians Baseball Insider series “This day in Indians minor league history.”

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