Article by Sam Weismann (Martinez Clippers )
Photos by Mark Fierner (Martinez News-Gazette )
MARTINEZ, Calif. — The Clippers lost a thrilling matchup with Pittsburg on Thursday by the final score of 15-12 in a darkness-shortened game.
A special ground rule at Waterfront Park forced the regulation game to be called after eight and one-half innings of play, as the field lights shut off at 10:27 p.m. in the midst of a heated game that saw the Diamonds and the Clippers each go up by as many as four runs. Jacob Hill pitched to a no-decision after tossing 120 pitches in just four innings, as the Clippers couldn’t take full advantage of Brett Solano’s worst start of the season despite acquiring 20 hits throughout the evening – a franchise record for an embattled Martinez squad that also picked up six extra-base knocks.
Grayson Weber (2-1) took the loss and Cain Spangler (2-1) got the win, both in relief, as back-to-back home runs in the sixth for Pittsburg tied the ballgame at eight after Martinez had jumped out to a 7-3 lead after the first two innings. Rafael Valera, Morgan Blatnik, and Joel Carranza each walked three times – despite this, Carranza came through big with a bases-clearing double in the eighth to put the Diamonds up 15-11 and finish with six RBI on the day (one of two Diamonds to reach the six-RBI mark). A late comeback by Martinez stalled after Devin Carter’s (3-4, 4 RBI) seventh home run of the season, and the final score was 15-12 in favor of Pittsburg.
The Clippers will travel to Pittsburg for the rubber match on Friday at 6 p.m. Pacific Time – it will be the southpaw Jacob Hill (0-2) for Martinez, who leads the team with a 4.97 ERA.
Will Decker (3-4, 2 RBI) hit his league-leading 14th double of the season off the top of the wall in right, spurring argument from the Clippers that the ball had bounced off a tree and come back into play…Matt Richards (5-6, 3 RBI) hit three singles, a triple, and a home run, ending the game just a double shy of the cycle…six Clippers had multiple hits, and three Clippers finished with 3+ base knocks on the day…Jacob Barfield (1-4) had his first professional hit, a single to right, even as he struck out for the fourth time in two games…Martinez drops to 1-15 at home, still the worst in the league just eight games from the season’s halfway mark.
Tickets for all Clippers home games are available at mtzclippers.com.