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Clippers settle for split in opening series at Louisville

(Courtesy: Columbus Clippers)

LOUISVILLE, KY- The Louisville Bats (2-2) came away with a 10-4 victory to split the four-game series with the Columbus Clippers (2-2) on Sunday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field.

Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0, 6.00) had a strong Bats debut by throwing six innings, only giving up seven hits, four earned runs, two walks, and recorded six strikeouts on 89 total pitches.

"I thought the guys played well all series long and I'm happy with the effort that they're showing right now," DeShields said.

Jesse Winker had a perfect day at the plate going 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, three RBI, and drew two walks.

The Clippers starter, right-handed pitcher Shawn Morimando (0-1, 18.90) tossed three and one-thirds innings, suffering eight hits, six earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts on 94 pitches.

The Bats got their bats going early by putting up two runs on three hits in the first inning after Lisalverto Bonilla threw a flawless top half of the first inning.

All nine Bats came to the plate in the bottom half of the fourth inning. It all started with a Chad Wallach double and from there the Bats plated six runs off seven hits and one walk. At the end of four innings, the Bats led 8-2.

The Clippers slowly chipped away at the Bats lead in the fifth and sixth innings by posting one run in each. Bats' third baseman Brandon Dixon answered with his first homerun in Triple-A to extend the Bats lead to 9-5.

"Always nice to start off the season hot, get a couple of hits to help the team is always a good thing," Dixon said. "They were pitching me inside, so I was looking for something over the plate that I could handle." Dixon on his home run to right.

The Bats bullpen came in for Bonilla and shut down the Clippers. Barrett Astin had a strong Triple-A debut by pitching two scoreless innings and Louis Colemans' perfect one-two-three ninth secured the win for the Bats.

"Astin looked really sharp today in first time out," DeShields said.

The Louisville Bats finish this four-game series going (2-2). The Bats will be back in action on Monday at Louisville Slugger Field against the Toledo Mud Hens for a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.

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