|Bulls & Pelicans Win Division Championships
Bulls Take Southern Division For Third Straight Year
The Durham Bulls won the Southern Division Title of the International League with a 7-3 win over the Charlotte Knights on Sunday. With an 81-62 record for the season, the Bulls clinched the Division Title for the third year in a row.
The Bulls will begin the post-season playoffs on Wednesday in Indianapolis versus the West Division champ, the Indianapolis Indians. The Bulls will be back in Durham for the third game of the best-of-five series on Friday, complete with fireworks after the game. If the final two games are needed, they will be played at the Bulls on Saturday and Sunday.
Although Charlotte defeated the Bulls on Monday in the first game of what was to be a double-header, the Knights had already lost all chance of clinching the Division Title. Their only hope to pass the Bulls would’ve been to win the final four games the two played versus one another over the weekend. On Sunday the Bulls’ win over Charlotte put the Bulls four games ahead in the standings with two games left to play in the season. Therefore, the rained out second game of the Monday double-header will not be played. Charlotte ended the season in second place with a 78-65 record.
The Bulls will travel to Indianapolis without two of their star players. In fact, they finished the season minus the two men. Catcher Pat Borders and Infielder Brent Abernathy left for Australia on September 1. Borders, MVP of the World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, and Abernathy, second round draft pick of the Blue Jays in the 1996 draft, were selected to play on the United States Olympic Baseball Team. Borders has hit .276 this year for the Bulls with 12 homeruns and 56 RBI. Abernathy has hit .286 including 1 homerun and 11 RBI.
Pelicans Crowned Division Champ
After sharing the limelight with the Wilmington Blue Rocks last year, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are hoping to clinch the Carolina League pennant for their very own. After once again winning the Southern Division in the Carolina League with an 88-and-52 overall record this season, the Pelicans will enjoy a bye for the playoffs.
The Pelicans will face the Carolina League’s North Division playoff winner (either the Lynchburg Hillcats from Virginia or the Frederick Keys from Maryland) in a best-of-five game series beginning Thursday at their home base of Coastal Federal Field. The Friday game will be played in Myrtle Beach as well, with the final three games, as needed, hosted at the home of the opposing team.
The Pelicans first secured a place in the playoffs in June, when they won the first half of the Southern Division season with a 40-28 record. The Pelicans played their final game of the season on Sunday, September 3, against the Salem Avalanche, clinching the lead for the second half of the season.
The accolades for the Pelicans have been plentiful as the 2000 season nears its final inning. Three Pelicans were named to the year-end All Star Team for the Carolina League. Brian Snitker was named Manager-of the-Year, Christian Parra was named the All-Star pitcher and the league’s Pitcher-of-the-Year and A.J. Zapp was named the All-Star first baseman.
Last year was the Pelicans inaugural season. The Pelicans shared the title with the Blue Rocks of Delaware in 1999, after the fifth and final game of the championship was canceled due to Hurricane Floyd.