Monday, September 14, 2009

Durham Bulls Beat Louisville Bats 5-3, Advance To Finals

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

Paul Phillips, in just his second professional start, helped the Bulls advance to the Governors' Cup Finals for a third straight year, as Durham beat Louisville 5-3.

Phillips (1-0), who made his first pro start after 196 relief appearances on the second to last day of the regular season, went five innings against a Louisville lineup that collected 10 runs just one day prior. He fanned six, didn't walk a batter and allowed just two runs on four hits.

With the game tied at two, Durham took the lead for good in the sixth, putting Phillips on the winning side of the ledger. Sean Rodriguez started the inning by beating out an infield hit toward the second base bag, and stole second. A Justin Ruggiano single advanced Rodriguez to third against Greg Atencio (0-1), and Elliot Johnson drove home the go-ahead run on a base hit to right. Later in the frame Desmond Jennings hit a line-drive sac fly to left center for a 4-2 lead.

Louisville rallied in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of an error, as well as two walks and a hit batter. Julio DePaula got Calvin Medlock out of trouble by getting Yonder Alonso to line to third into a 5-4 double play.

Durham added an insurance run in the seventh on Ruggiano's third hit, a double to left center, for a 5-3 advantage.

DePaula pitched into the eighth, and Winston Abreu came on for the final five outs, earning his second save of the series.

Durham collected 12 hits, including seven from the middle third of the order - Matt Joyce, Rodriguez and Ruggiano.

The Bulls will host games one and two of the Finals against Scranton on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:05, in a rematch of last year's final series. Scranton won 3-1 last year. Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for game one. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan will begin at 6:55, and tickets are available at

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