Bulls Advance to League Championship for 4th Straight Year

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Bulls celebrate
The Bulls celebrate a playoff series win over Louisville Sept. 12, 2010.

The Bulls defeated Louisville 4-2 in Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup Playoffs on Sunday, September 12, 2010, at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, clinching a series win and a berth in the Governors’ Cup Finals.

JJ Furmaniak had the go-ahead home run in the fifth inning, and made a spectacular over the shoulder catch for the final out as the Bulls now one step closer to their fourth Governors’ Cup Championship. The win was the Bulls 91st on the year, a new Triple-A record.

The Bulls offense struck first against Bats left-hander Jeremy Horst, pushing a pair of runs across on just one hit after a defensive miscue by the Louisville defense. Joe Dillon and Nevin Ashley walked to put a pair of runners aboard for Fernando Perez. The Bulls right-fielder lined a single into left field which would have loaded the bases, but the ball skipped past left-fielder Todd Frazier and went all the way to the wall as both runners scored and Perez wound up on third after the error.

A miscue by the Bulls allowed Louisville to tie the game in the fifth inning, as left-hander Bobby Livingston had runners at first and third with one out for Wilkin Castillo. The Bats catcher grounded a ball back to the mound, but Livingston chose to get the runner at home instead of going for the inning ending double-play. The runners moved to second and third on the play, and Kris Negron followed with a two-out double into the gap which brought the Bats back to even at 2-2.

JJ Furmaniak came right back in the bottom of the inning to put the Bulls on top again, getting ahead in the count 3-1 against right-hander Micah Owings before taking a pitch the opposite was to right-center field for a solo home run. It was just the second home run of the season for Furmaniak, but put the Bulls on top 3-2 as manager Charlie Montoyo went to his bullpen to close the door.

Furmaniak keyed the Bulls as their leadoff hitter in the opening round victory, reaching base in 13 of his 23 plate appearances hitting .411 with six runs, a triple, a home run, five walks and stolen base in the series.

Joe Bateman came out of the bullpen to work a season-high 2.2 innings of relief. The right-hander hit Negron with a pitch to lead off the eighth, but retired the next two before turning it over to Winston Abreu with two outs and tying run on second. The Bulls closer fanned Danny Dorn to end the eighth inning, and worked a perfect ninth to close out the series and oust Louisville from the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

The Bulls travel to Columbus to take on the Clippers on Tuesday and Wednesday at Huntington Park, then return to Durham for Game 3 on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The Bulls will host games 4 and 5 if necessary.

Tickets are available at www.durhambulls.com or by phone at (919) 956-BULL.

Thanks to WRAL.com for this capcom story & photo.

2010 Championship logoWondering what the road to the Triple-A National Championship looks like? Find out all about it (with results of games already played) here


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