Bill Hall’s two-run double in the seventh inning powered Norfolk to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Clippers in front of 10,118 fans at Harbor Park Saturday night.
With the score knotted at 1-1, Xavier Avery ignited the seventh inning rally with a bunt single against Columbus reliever Scott Barnes (0-3). L.J. Hoes followed with a fielder’s choice grounder to second baseman Cord Phelps, but Phelps threw wide of second base to allow Avery to reach safely. Barnes retired the next two batters he faced, but Hall lined a 2-2 pitch over center fielder Tim Fedroff’s head, allowing Avery and Hoes to score and put the Tides up 3-1.
Hall’s double helped make a winner of Miguel Socolovich (4-0), who did not allow a run over 1.2 innings of relief. Socolovich, Jason Berken and Zach Phillips combined to hold Columbus – the IL’s top hitting team – to just four hits.
Phillips struck out pinch-hitter Vinny Rottino with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to wrap up the win and help Norfolk (58-57) move over the .500 mark.
Berken turned in a strong outing, as he held the Clippers to a run on three hits over 6.2 innings. Berken walked two and struck out four, as the only run Columbus could muster against him was a third inning solo homer by Phelps.
Jamie Hoffmann had two singles in the win, while Steve Tolleson added an RBI single.