When the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds meet on the baseball diamond, it is normally a fun and enjoyable affair. When their Triple-A affiliates do the same, it is just as exciting and meaningful. The smaller Battle of Ohio brings out fans of both sides. Add to this the fact that Louisville and Columbus are battling for 1st place in the Western Division (at the start of the game Louisville was up .5 games) and you have yourself a real ball game.
Though the Clippers desperately wanted to regain the divisional lead, Louisville did their best to keep that from happening. The Bats stuck first, and struck hard, when in the first inning an error allowed Norris Hopper to gain a base. That error was followed by a walk, and Drew Stubbs was on first. Drew Sutton stepped up and nailed a double into deep center field, sending both Hopper and Stubbs home. Wes Bankston then sent Stubbs home before the inning was ended.
In the second inning, both teams notched a run onto their scores. The Bat's Wilkin Castillo hit a homer into the first row of left field, while the Clipper's Andy Marte nailed a homer into the middle rows of left field. Those runs, however, looked like they would end the scoring for the night. That was not the case, as in the 9th the Bats scored twice more. Both Darnell McDonald and Louis Bolivar scored, which put a bow on Louisville's victory.
As I indicated earlier, this was a battle of the Ohio Triple-A affiliates; this resulted in an interesting mix of fans at Huntington Park. Normally, the stands are packed with Clippers fans, and only a few supporters of the other team are willing to show their faces. With this game, however, the audience was mixed, as both Cleveland and Cincinnati have a strong base in Columbus. Though there were no issues, this led to some unusual cheering and jeering, as fans reacted to the 'wrong' team.
Mustard and Relish running neck-and-neck in the hotdog race. (Credit: Robert M. Barga
As this is the second game I have attended this June, this is only the second running of The Great Race so far. Unlike last time, where Relish took off slowly but came roaring back for a dominating lead, it was a close race to the end. Both Mustard and Relish were neck-and-neck, with Ketchup running a bit behind them, when Relish cheated and shoved Mustard to the ground. This took out not only Mustard, but Ketchup managed to trip as well. Relish, with his new found freedom, then ran through the ribbon, giving him his second win. Both Mustard and Ketchup have yet to win.
W: Ramon Ramirez (1-4), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
L: Chuck Lofgren (1-2), 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
S: Josh Roenicke (10), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO