May 19, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Jesus Aguilar (36) hits a sacrifice fly during the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Clippers Clinch IL West Division

Clippers are playoff-bound for the first time since 2011

With their 3-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens last night, the Columbus Clippers clinched their first West Division crown and playoff appearance since 2011. Behind starter Zach McAllister, who has been lights-out (7-1, 2.33 ERA) during his time in Columbus this year, and Jesus Aguilar, who homered in his third straight game, the Clippers gave manager Chris Tremie his first taste of champagne in a AAA locker room. Tremie had this to say following the win:

“It’s exhilarting.” Tremie said, multiple times. “These guys, I give them all the credit in the world. We were not in a real good spot in May, and they continued to plug away and play.”

Zach McAllister went with “awesome” instead.

“It’s awesome. Anytime you win something like this, it’s really exciting. Doesn’t matter what level it is.” McAllister was up and down between Cleveland and Columbus for most of the season, but certainly made the best of his time in the minors.

Jul 31, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach McAllister (34) delivers in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Aguilar led the way for most of the season for the Clippers. He currently sits second in the league with a .394 OBP, fourth with 73 RBI and eighth with a .302 BA. He also led the club with 19 HR. It is his second consecutive year driving in at least 70 runs after bring home a whopping 105 in 2013 with the AA Akron Aeros.

The Clippers still have six more regular season games before hosting the South division champion Durham Bulls on September 3rd in the first round of the playoffs. The Bulls are currently 71-66 and have won their division in seven of the past eight years. The first two games of the five game series will be played in Columbus before the teams head to North Carolina to play up to three more.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Columbus Clippers Zach McAllister

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