BULLS DO IT AGAIN
After a Durham Bulls victory, Ken Tanner, who does some broadcasting and media relations for the team, addresses the crowd with, “Bulls win!”
Tanner might have hollered, “Bulls clinch!” on Monday night if the team hadn't been in such a hurry to start spraying champagne everywhere.
“It feels so awesome,” Bulls switch-hitter Ray Olmedo said after his squad beat Gwinnett 4-2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The win earned the Bulls, the reigning Governors’ Cup champions, a seventh International League South Division title within the last eight years.
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo has been in charge of the team since 2007. He's been around for all of that success.
“Charlie does everything for us,” Olmedo said.
In the 17 seasons that Durham has been in the International League, the team has won the South Division 12 times and clinched a wild card in 2004. Stuff like that never gets old, Montoyo said.
“No, no, because it's not that easy. It's not that easy. I don't take it for granted, at all,” Montoyo said.
The Bulls wrapped up the division with strong efforts at the plate by Mike Fontenot and Cole Figueroa. Each of them were 3 for 4.
Fontenot's third-inning grounder drove in the first run for the Bulls. Figueroa followed with a single that produced a run.
The Braves tied the game in the sixth, when Bulls starter Matt Andriese hit Todd Cunningham, made a throwing error on a pickoff and walked two batters. Cunningham scored the tying run when a pitch got past Bulls catcher Ali Solis.
But there came Fontenot in the eighth with a double. He got to third on a single from Figueroa and made it home on a double-play grounder.
Bulls pitcher Steve Geltz (3-3) retired seven straight batters to earn the win, and Josh Lueke pitched a scoreless ninth to get his 11th save.
All season long when the Bulls weren't hitting worth much, their pitchers came through in the clutch. Fittingly, that's how the Bulls clinched the division.
“The pitching was outstanding,” Montoyo said. “Every game that we played was a close game.
“We are who we are.”
The Bulls begin the 2014 Governors’ Cup playoffs Sept. 3 on the road against the West Division champions for games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five series. Game 3 is at the DBAP on Sept. 5. If necessary, games 4 and 5 will be Sept. 6 and 7.
“From now own, it's luck,” Montoyo said.
Olmedo is banking on a lot of that.
“Win another world championship for the Durham Bulls,” Olmedo said.
NOTES — The Bulls start a two-game series at Gwinnett today. Bulls right-hander Nathan Karns (9-7, 4.56) is scheduled to start against Braves righty Zach Stewart (6-4, 4.94). … Montoyo was asked if the Bulls would get any extra money for winning the IL championship. He quipped, “You see the car I drive?”
Durham Bulls (71-65) 4, Gwinnett Braves (60-76) 2
August 25, 2014
|Cunningham, T, CF||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||.281|
2B: Kazmar (17, Andriese).
TB: Kazmar 3; Constanza 2; Bethancourt.
RBI: Kazmar (27).
2-out RBI: Kazmar.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Reyes 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 5.
CS: Constanza (10, 2nd base by Andriese/Solis).
E: Cunningham, T (3, fielding).
|Figueroa, C, 3B||4||0||3||1||0||1||1||.295|
|Beckham, T, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Lee, H, SS||3||1||0||0||0||1||1||.203|
2B: Fontenot (24, Doyle).
TB: Solis; Fontenot 4; Figueroa, C 3; Christian; Mahtook.
RBI: Fontenot (47), Figueroa, C (32), Mahtook (63).
2-out RBI: Figueroa, C; Mahtook.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Moore.
Team RISP: 3-for-6.
Team LOB: 4.
E: Andriese (3, pickoff).
PB: Solis (7).
DP: (Lee, H-Beckham, T-Belnome).
|Doyle (L, 3-4)||7.2||7||4||3||0||7||0||3.33|
|Geltz (W, 3-3)||2.1||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.50|
|Lueke (S, 11)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.41|
Shreve pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.
HBP: Cunningham, T (by Andriese).
Pitches-strikes: Doyle 96-68, Shreve 5-2, Hoyt 9-5, Andriese 97-61, Geltz 31-23, Lueke 10-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Doyle 11-1, Shreve 0-0, Hoyt 0-0, Andriese 5-2, Geltz 1-3, Lueke 0-1.
Batters faced: Doyle 29, Shreve 1, Hoyt 2, Andriese 24, Geltz 7, Lueke 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Shreve 1-0, Hoyt 2-1, Geltz 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Jeff Gosney. 1B: Jon Byrne. 3B: Derek Mollica.
Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, In from LF.
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.