Three Columbus hurlers combined to hold Norfolk to three hits as the Tides dropped a 1-0 decision to the Clippers Friday night at Harbor Park.
Jeanmar Gomez, Dan Wheeler and Frank Herrmann pitched the gem for the Clippers, as the trio combined to strikeout 11 without walking a batter. Gomez (5-2) faced just two batters over the minimum over seven innings to record the win, while Herrmann worked a perfect ninth to register his sixth save of the season.
Norfolk’s only threat of the contest came in the seventh inning, as L.J. Hoes led off the frame with a single before advancing to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Gomez escaped the threat, however, by striking out Steve Tolleson and Joe Mahoney before retiring Bill Hall on a lineout.
Hoes was the only Norfolk runner to reach scoring position in the contest.
Tides starter Steve Johnson (4-8) turned in a very strong outing, but was once again the victim of a lack of run support. Johnson allowed four hits and three walks while striking out eight over six innings of work, but the Tides were shutout for the second consecutive contest with him on the hill.
The only run Johnson surrendered came in the fifth inning, as Jason Donald connected on a two-out solo home run just over the left field wall.
Hoes had two of Norfolk’s three hits, and he’s now reached base safely in 15 of his last 22 plate appearances. Hoes has 10 singles and five walks over that five-game stretch as he’s upped his season average to .310.
The shutout loss was Norfolk’s 10th of the season, four of which have come over the last eight games.
The two clubs will continue their four-game series Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:15. Jason Berken (3-4, 3.67) will take the hill for Norfolk against left-hander David Huff (5-5, 5.15).
Saturday is Navy Night, with a postgame fireworks show courtesy of Navy Mutual. Active duty and retired U.S. Navy personnel and dependents can show their ID at the Harbor Park box office to get box seats for $8.50 each and reserved seats for $7.50 each. A pre-game ceremony will include the Oath of Enlistment for future sailors, and the Navy will be providing a flyover before 1st pitch by the CHARGERS of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO SIX.