Sunday, July 19, 2009

Durham Bulls Beat Louisville Bats 3-2 In 16 Innings

Durham Bulls[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]

Elliot Johnson's double scored Craig Albernaz with the winning run in the 16th inning on Saturday night, as the Bulls won 3-2 at Louisville in a four-and-a-half-hour marathon.

Albernaz led off the inning by reaching on the first error of the game on a grounder to short, and Ray Sadler sacrificed him to second. Johnson then drove a 2-1 pitch over the head of Darnell McDonald into the right-field corner off Adam Pettyjohn (1-6), scoring Albernaz.

It was Johnson's third hit of the game. He had started the day 0-for-16 against lefties, and ended up with two extra-base hits off lefties. The first, a homer in the eighth off Ben Jukich, gave Durham a 2-1 lead. Durham had been no-hit for the first six innings before Matt Joyce's titanic homer to right to start the seventh tied the game at one.

However, Louisville tied it in the ninth with one out on back-to-back doubles by Kevin Barker and McDonald against Dale Thayer, who was looking for a two-inning save.

Both teams had plenty of chances to win before Durham closed it out in the 16th. John Meloan worked out of a man at third none-out-situation in the 10th. Jorge Julio walked the first two batters in the 14th but did not score. Durham left 10 runners on base in the first six extra innings before cashing in during the seventh extra frame.

Jason Childers (7-3) got the win with a scoreless 15th, while Joe Bateman earned his second save despite allowing a leadoff walk in the 16th. Before the late dramatics, James Houser had his best start, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings.

Durham (53-40) has won two of three from Louisville, with all games decided by one run. The two teams wrap up a four-game set on Sunday as Matt DeSalvo faces Kip Wells in a battle of righties. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan's HD2 begins at 5:55 with first pitch at 6:15.

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