The Durham Bulls lost to the Omaha Storm Chasers in the Triple-A National Championship Game on Tuesday night, but there was still a celebration around Tim Beckham’s locker. The Durham shortstop was accepting hugs and handshakes from a steady stream of teammates, who punctuated their congratulations with “Going to varsity!” “Going up!” and “Yeah, buddy!”
Every time Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo took someone out of the Triple-A National Championship on Tuesday, he made sure to greet the player with a big hug in the dugout. “You never know if you’re going to see them again or not,” Montoyo said.
The Durham Bulls’ offensive woes finally came back to bite them in the Triple-A National Championship Game. Durham was held to three hits by Omaha starter Chris Dwyer and two relievers, as the Pacific Coast League champion Storm Chasers beat the International League champion Bulls 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The Durham Bulls dominated the International League this season, becoming the first team in 26 years to lead the IL in both batting average and ERA and finishing 87-57, seven games better than anyone else in the league. The Omaha Storm Chasers went 70-74, the 10th best record in the 16-team Pacific Coast League but slid into the playoffs by winning the four-team American North division by one game.
Hard to believe this is the same Rafael Nadal who was home during the U.S. Open a year ago, nursing a bad left knee.Hard to believe this is the guy sent packing in the first round of Wimbledon in June, losing against someone ranked 135th.
To determine who has an advantage in postseason play, Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo looks no further than 60 feet, six inches from home plate. “Pitching is the name of the game,” Monotyo said. “If our starters are going to keep going six or seven innings, that’s pretty good.”
The battle for the International League championship comes down to two franchises familiar with the prize — the Governor’s Cup. The Pawtucket Red Sox, the 2012 league champions, face the Durham Bulls, who are aiming for their fourth Governor’s Cup win in the past 12 seasons, in a best-of-five series that begins today at Durham Bulls Athletic Park (7:05 p.m., Time Warner Cable 151, Me-TV 50.2).
Durham third baseman Cole Figueroa had a feeling the final out was going to come his way. That was just fine with him.
The International League playoffs are back at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. After the Durham Bulls missed the postseason a year ago in what’s become a rare occurrence, the team won the International League South Division for the sixth time in the past seven seasons this summer.
By now, watching Charlie Montoyo pilot the Durham Bulls into the International League playoffs surprises no one. The Bulls, who face Indianapolis today (7:05 p.m.) at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in game one of a best-of-five league semifinal series, are in the postseason as the IL South Division champions for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
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The Durham Bulls struggled at the plate in Monday night's loss to the Charlotte Knights.
That wasn't an issue in their regular-season home finale, as the Bulls pounded out nine extra-base hits in a 13-6 victory over the Knights on Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Almost a week after clinching the International League South Division title, the Durham Bulls continue to rake in the honors for their season of success. J.D. Martin was named the IL's starting pitcher of the year, Charlie Montoyo is the league's top manager and Vince Belnome was named to the postseason All-Star team in an announcement Tuesday.
On a night when the Durham Bulls struggled on the mound early, at the plate and in the field, they still had a chance to pull out a victory Monday night when they stranded two runners in the bottom of the ninth at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Instead, the Charlotte Knights cashed in on a two-out error by Durham shortstop Tim Beckham for a two-run rally and a 4-3 victory in International League action.