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Columbus claims Triple-A Championship

By sstorm Published: September 22, 2010

Winning the International League title last week was pretty awesome for the Indians Triple-A team in Columbus. But in adding yet another feather to their cap, the Clippers ended their 2010 season-to-remember by cruising to another easy, albeit important, postseason win.

Clippers LF Jerad Head helped lead yet another lopsided victory, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI to lead Columbus' 19-hit attack Tuesday in Oklahoma as the Clippers clubbed the Tacoma Rainiers 12-6 in the Triple-A Championship Game at Bricktown Ballpark.

Posting another big offensive victory was nothing new for the Clippers, who outscored their opponents 71-30 over nine postseason games, building a 12-3 lead through five innings.

As for the Rainiers, they had an impressive run of their own despite having to play their final 13 games on the road with renovations going on at Cheney Stadium. They won eight, including three in a row to sweep to their first PCL championship since 2001.

But that momentum wasn't enough Tuesday as every Clipper save for 1B Wes Hodges recorded at least two hits. For his efforts Head, who spent the year split between Double-A Akron and Columbus, was named MVP after batting .485 with 15 RBI in nine postseason games.

"It seemed like all series that everybody on the team had a big hit," Head told "Everybody came up with a big hit tonight and the pitching was great again, too."

"Jared Head was huge for us," said Clippers skipper Mike Sarbaugh, who also led the Double-A Akron Aeros to a championship last season.

DH Jason Kipnis, who had not played above Double-A until joining the Clippers for the IL Championship Series, went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. He fell a single shy of a second straight the cycle after completing the rare feat in Columbus' clinching victory over Durham Friday.

In five playoff games, the former second-round Draft pick was 10-for-22 with nine runs scored.

"What a week, what a week," Kipnis said. "I couldn't be happier about how the week's gone for me and the team. ... They have been just unbelievable in taking me in and making me feel comfortable right away. ... They make it easy to hit in this lineup. You're up every other inning, basically."

SS Josh Rodriquez also collected three hits and CF Ezequiel Carrera drove in three runs.
LHP David Huff earned the win, despite allowing all six Tacoma runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings while striking out six.

MLB.COM NOTES: Clippers leadoff batter and RF Jose Constanza, the only Postseason All-Star on either roster, ended the year with a 33-game on-base streak. ... Tuesday's game matched two teams that had struggled in the final weeks of the regular season. Columbus lost 24 of its final 37 games, while Tacoma dropped 25 of 40...The game will be replayed on MLB Network on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

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