FINAL: The Durham Bulls win their fourth International League Governors’ Cup title, winning three straight games over the PawSox after dropping the opener in Durham. It is the second time that the Bulls have taken down the PawSox in the championship series and is their first title since 2009. They will play in the Triple-A National Championship game next Tuesday night in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania versus the eventual winner of the Pacific Coast League, either Omaha or Salt Lake. For Pawtucket, it was a lack of offense that did them in as they were unable to score a run over the final 29 innings of the series. You can’t win if you can’t score, and of course it’s tough to score when Durham’s pitching was as good as they were. Another season is in the books, and both teams, organizations and fan bases should be proud of the efforts the players put forth all season long.
Bottom 9th: Henry goes 4-3 for out number one. Diaz Ks. Hassan pops up to second. Ballgame. Season. Celebration time for the Bulls. Durham, 7-0
Top 9th: Figueroa flies out to center. Beckham grounds to short. Belnome doubles to left-center gap. Bourgeois grounds out to third. Durham, 7-0
Bottom 8th: Hazelbaker Ks. Durham makes a pitching change, Steve Geltz on in relief. Wilkerson grounds out to second. Meneses grounds out to third. Durham, 7-0
Top 8th: Duncan grounds out to second. Fontenot grounds out to first. Albernaz singles into center. Keirmaier flies out to right. Durham, 7-0
Bottom 7th: Providence native Jeff Beliveau on to pitch for Durham. Hamilton Ks swinging for the second time tonight. Butler skies on in foul territory, handled by Belnome. Thomas Ks. Durham, 7-0
Top 7th: Belnome strikes out. Bourgeois goes 4-3 on the groundout. Guyer pops out to second. Durham, 7-0
Bottom 6th: We're going speed round on the blog unless something major happens because this one is officially out of hand, so I want to work on my game story a bit and get out of this place at a reasonable time...hopefully not soaked in champagne. Meneses goes down swinging for the second time tonight. Henry pops out in the grass behind short. Diaz with a solid single into left-center, his and the team's second hit of the night. Hassan goes right back to Kelly for a 1-3 inning ending ground out. Durham, 7-0
Top 6th: Jonathan Diaz goes diving to his left to snag a Guyer grounder, pops up quickly and fires to Hamilton for the out. Diaz has certainly impressed in the field this postseason. Duncan draws a walk. Fontenot rips a hit to center that rolls all the way to the wall for a triple and another Bulls run. Terry Doyle comes in to relieve Huntzinger. Albernaz grounds out to second. Kiermaier pulls one past the diving Diaz, scoring Fontenot. Kiermaier is 2-for-4 with three RBIs. A wild pitch rolls to the backstop and the lightning quick Kiermaier gets all to way to third on the play. Figueroa takes the next pitch into center for Durham's 10th hit and 7th run of the game. Beckham grounds to short to stop the bleeding. Durham, 7-0
Bottom 5th: Butler is hit by a pitch to lead things off. A wild pitch moves Butler up to second but on the ensuing 3-2 pitch Thomas goes down swinging. Hazelbaker goes down swinging as well, number 5 for Kelly. Wilkerson makes it officially a trend as he Ks for the second time tonight. Durham, 4-0
Top 5th: Beckham draws a leadoff walk. Beckham is then gunned down trying to steal second, although from my vantage point it looked as if he may have beat the throw as the tag came down on his legs. Belnome grounds to second for the second out. Bourgeois Ks to end the inning. Durham, 4-0
Bottom 4th: Merrill Kelly continues to cruise and gets Henry to fly to center for the tenth straight PawSox out. Jonathan Diaz punches one through the hole on the left side of the infield and Pawtucket gets their first base runner of the game. Hassan lines out to center. Hamilton lifts one towards the RCF gap, but it hangs up for out number three. Durham, 4-0
Top 4th: Albarnez goes down looking and waits in the box in disbelief. He does eventually leave to make way for Kiermaier's third at-bat of the game. Meneses makes things interesting on a high pop up in the infield, dropping to his knees as he catches Kiermaier's pop. Figueroa flies out to left and Huntzinger gets the PawSox a much needed 1-2-3 inning. Durham, 4-0
Bottom 3rd: Jeremy Hazelbaker grounds out to second. Shannon Wilkerson strikes out looking, as does Heiker Meneses and Pawtucket is down in order for the third straight inning. Durham, 4-0
Top 3rd: Belnome draws the leadoff walk and is the seventh Durham batter to reach so far. Bourgeois immediately bounces to short and Meneses steps on the bag and throws to first for the double play. Guyer takes a 1-0 pitch to the opposite field gap for a triple, Durham's first this postseason. Duncan follows with a double and it's quite possible that 'the route is on'...words that no one expected to see in this series. Still plenty of time for Pawtucket. Brock Huntzinger comes into the game to pitch for Pawtucket and uses just one pitch in forcing Fontenot to ground out to second to end the inning. In three innings the Bulls have already matched their hit total, 7, from 14 innings last night. Durham, 4-0
Bottom 2nd: On a 2-2 count Mark Hamilton swings and misses and 82 mph slider from Kelly. Dan Butler dribbles one back to Kelly for an easy out two and the PawSox offense has picked up where it left off...somewhere far from McCoy Stadium. Tony Thomas with a hot shot up to second, but not through, and Pawtucket goes down in order once more. Durham, 3-0
Top 2nd: Former Yankee Shelley Duncan goes full count before walking back to the bench after looking at strike three on the inside corner. He didn't seem to disagree. Nasty knuckler from Haeger there. Mike Fontenot takes an 0-1 pitch back up the middle for the third Durham single. Fall River native Craig Albernaz strikes out swinging. Keirmaier takes the first pitch he sees over the right-center field wall for a two-run homer, his second in Triple-A. Figueroa follows with a bloop single into left that a diving Justin Henry can't come up with. Beckham flies out to center and Haeger may be about done here as Brock Huntizinger begins to warm in the PawSox pen. Durham, 3-0
Bottom 1st: Justin Henry rips a few shots foul, then weakly grounds back to the pitcher Merrill Kelly for an out. Jonathan Diaz runs the count full, but then flies out to center. Alex Hassan flies to left and the PawSox are retired in order. That is 22 straight innings without a run for the Red Sox. Durham, 1-0
Top 1st: At 6:06 p.m. Charlie Haeger knuckles in the first pitch at 71 mph for a strike. Kevin Kiermaier flails his bat out and pops one harmlessly to left for the game's first out. Haeger handcuffs Cole Figueroa who grounds out to second. Tim Beckham shows some nice patience, watching four pitches go by for a walk. Vince Belnome slices one opposite field into left for a single, putting two runners on with two outs. Jason Bourgeois singles into center and Beckham comes around to give the Bulls an early lead. Haeger gets Brandon Guyer to fly out to center before another run can cross. Durham, 1-0
Preview: With first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. tonight, everyone in the building is hopeful that we can fit this thing in before we hit Sunday! Game time temps should be right around 64 degrees and should gradually dip into the 50s throughout the night. The winds are firmly pushing the flags from center to right. We're moments away from Game 4 of the International League Governors' Cup Finals and we'll soon see if the Durham Bulls will be popping champagne bottles, or if we'll be back for Game 5 tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Keep it here for a live, running blog and feel free to drop comments and also follow on Twitter @OnDeckBDC.
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