Richmond 4, Durham 2 (Richmond leads series 1-0). JP Howell was a little lucky the first six innings, allowing two hits in an inning three times. Yet he managed to work his way out of each of those jams and entered the 7th inning, having not allowed a run and the score tied 0-0. However, the wheels came off in the 7th. After getting the first batter out on strikes, the next four batters all reached base with three of them scoring. Howell was done after 6.2 innings. A Chris Richard single in the 8th cut the lead to 4-1, but Jeff Ridgway was touched for a solo home run in the 9th. The Bulls tried to rally in the bottom of the 9th, when a 2-out single by Jason Pridie drove home a run and put the tying run on first base, but Justin Ruggiano went down on strikes to end the game.
Columbus 5, West Virginia 2 (Columbus leads series 2-0). Maiko Loyola was demoted to short-season Hudson Valley earlier this year, but he is back with Columbus now and making the most of his opportunity. He homered twice in the final week of the regular season and last night he led of the game with his second post-season home run. He is hitting .444 in the playoffs. Cesar Suarez and Matt Fields had two hits apiece. Will Kline, the Rays second round pick this year, made the start and went the first three innings on a strict pitch count. He allowed 1 run on 3 hits and two walks while striking out 4. He then gave way to Jeremy Hall who was making just his second appearance for Columbus since being promoted from Princeton. He pitched the next 4.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a walk to pick up the win.
NOTES FROM DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Jon Weber, a career minor leaguer, and mid-season pickup by the Durham Bulls, is in search of his seventh straight championship. S.E.V.E.N. Holy Shnikes! Weber, an outfielder, has never played in the major leagues, but if the Bulls win the International League Championship, we just might start a campaign to have Weber be a backup outfielder for the Rays next season. [The News & Observer]