As if 10-cent hot dogs weren’t enough, the Columbus Clippers delivered a walk-off win for fans in attendance at Monday’s Dime-A-Dog Night at Huntington Park.
Clippers second baseman Gregorio Petit hit a two-out, two-run double to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Columbus a 4-3 win over the visiting Indianapolis Indians.
With runners on first and third and down to his last strike, Petit lined a 1-2 pitch from Indians reliever Tim Wood into left field sending Ryan Spilborghs home from third to tie the game.
When Indianapolis left fielder Gorkys Hernandez failed to field the ball cleanly, it allowed Trevor Crowe, running on contact with two outs, to score all the way from first.
“I knew I tied the game when it came off the bat,” Petit said after the game. “And when I saw Hernandez struggle with the ball, I knew we had Crowe at first and he can run.”
With its back against the wall, Columbus needed Petit’s heroics to get the win, but it was the bullpen that kept the team in the game.
“I thought our bullpen did a really good job of keeping us close and giving us a chance to win in the ninth,” Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “Hagadone, Ray and then Herrmann in the ninth, I thought that was the key.”
Clippers starting pitcher Chris Seddon struggled out of the gates giving up a home run on the game’s second pitch. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits in four innings of work, leaving the game with his team down 3-1.
Columbus relievers Nick Hagadone, Chris Ray and Frank Herrmann combined for five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.
Indianapolis starter Charlie Morton pitched well for the Indians, going seven-and-two-thirds innings. Down for rehab from Indianapolis’ parent team the Pittsburgh Pirates, Morton allowed one run on six hits, striking out eight.
“You’ve got to give credit to (Morton),” Sarbaugh said. “He used all of his pitches effectively and we couldn’t really get anything going against him.”
Morton kept the Clippers off the scoreboard for most of the game, but when he gave way to the bullpen, Columbus was able to capitalize, scoring three of its four runs in the ninth off Indians relievers.
Kept in check for the better part of the night, the Clippers offense managed to come alive when it needed to.
“That’s what fighters do right?” Petit, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before his game-winning double, said. “Fighters fight, and that’s how we are. We just battle the whole game and we never give up.”
The game was the first Dime-A-Dog Night of the 2012 season. The promotion is usually held once a month at a Monday home game, but it will get special treatment because of the city of Columbus’ bicentennial this year.
“It’s one of those Columbus traditions,” Clippers media director Joe Santry said. “And because of that, we’ll do it every Monday.”
Columbus and Indianapolis play the second game of a four-game series Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The next scheduled Dime-A-Dog Night is Monday April 30.