Columbus’ Haase Named International League Player of the Week
Bob Toth | On 10, Jul 2018
Columbus’ Eric Haase stormed into the All-Star break with some big series last week against the Toledo Mud Hens and the Indianapolis Indians to conclude the first half of the Triple-A schedule. For his efforts, he was named the International League’s Player of the Week for games played between July 2 and July 8.
Haase played in all seven games during the week and had hits in five of the contests. He went 9-for-26 (.346) at the plate and added two walks to provide the Clippers with a .379 on-base percentage. Six of his nine hits during the week were for extra bases as he tallied a .731 slugging percentage. It earned him his second career Player of the Week award, coming almost a year to the date of his first win last July 8 while playing for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.
The power-hitting backstop traveled to Toledo for a split home-and-home set with the Mud Hens to start the playing week on Monday. Hitting seventh in the lineup and playing designated hitter, Haase went 2-for-5. In the second inning, he singled and stole his second base of the season and later came in to score on a bases loaded two-run single by Greg Allen. He drew a two-out walk in the next inning and jogged home on a three-run home run from Nellie Rodriguez. He got his second hit of the day in the fifth, when he doubled home Drew Maggi to give the Clippers a 7-1 lead. He scored his third run of the day later in the inning on a single by Yandy Diaz. He was finally retired in his final three trips to the plate, flying out in the sixth and striking out in the eighth and ninth in the Clippers’ 11-1 win.
Haase was back behind the plate on Tuesday, again hitting in the seven spot. He posted another two-hit game and chipped in his second RBI of the week with another two-base hit. The Clippers, however, would fall 8-3. He contributed to the early scoring with an RBI-double in the second, knocking in Adam Rosales after his leadoff double to give Columbus a 2-0 lead. Haase singled in the fourth, but was picked off of first. He grounded out in the sixth and eighth.
The Clippers returned home for the second half of the home-and-home series to host the Mud Hens on the Fourth of July. Haase was held hitless in three plate appearances as the team’s DH and seven-hitter, drawing a walk in the second. He struck out in the fourth and grounded out to start the seventh. Columbus would take a 5-4 lead with a two-out RBI-double by Brandon Barnes in the bottom of the eighth and held on to win.
Haase put up his third two-hit game of the week in the finale from Columbus on Thursday in the Clippers’ 6-5 win. He singled and scored a run in the bottom of the second, making it a 4-3 deficit at the time. After grounding into a double play in the fourth, he doubled to center with one out in the sixth and came in to score later in the inning to tie the game at four. He had a chance to give the Clippers a lead in the bottom of the eighth with runners on the corners and one out, but he struck out swinging against Drew VerHagen. The next batter, Rodriguez, drove in a pair with a double and the Clippers held on for a 6-5 win.
Haase was behind the plate again on Friday as the Clippers kicked off their three-game series against the Indianapolis Indians to wrap up the first half. Haase hit eighth and put Columbus on the board 1-0 in the second with a sacrifice fly to score Yu Chang. He homered to start the fifth, responding to the Indians’ two-run fourth, to tie the game at two. Haase would fly out in the seventh and ground out in the ninth as the Clippers fell, 5-2.
The Clippers would be blanked on Saturday by Indy, held to five hits on the day. He was retired three times in the air before grounding out to short in the ninth to end the ball game.
Drawing catching duties on Sunday, Haase would put up his fourth two-hit game of the week. He grounded into a force play to end the second inning, but he delivered a big punch in the fourth, driving a two-out, two-run double to left to score Chang and Rosales to cut the Indianapolis lead to 3-2. After striking out in the seventh, he came up in the ninth with two outs in a 5-2 game. He sent another big extra base hit to left, as this one left the yard for a two-run home run to make it a 5-4 game. Maggi would strike out looking to end the ball game.
The 25-year-old, who was a late addition to the Triple-A All-Star Game for the International League squad, will next take the field on Wednesday night in Columbus as the Clippers host the annual event. It will be the second time that Haase will appear in an All-Star game, following his selection to the Midwest League All-Star Game back in 2014.
The second half of the IL schedule kicks off on Thursday, as the Clippers head to Louisville for four games with the Bats.
Photo: Mathew Carper/Columbus Clippers