“This has been a truly amazing week at the DBAP. In a span of 48 hours, we retired an all-time legend’s number in front of a sold out crowd and then clinched our 6th division title in seven years,” said DBBC Marketing Director Scott Carter of Chipper Jones’ visit to the ballpark and then the title clinching victory the following evening.
“This season has been full of incredible moments, but these two days really encapsulate the magic that’s made up the 2013 season,” he said.
Carter shared the story of how the Bulls pulled out the South Division title before the season even ends:
The Durham Bulls clinched their sixth International League South Division title in seven years, and eleventh in their 16 years in the IL with a 9-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights at the DBAP on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.
It matched the earliest that the Bulls have clinched a division title since joining the Triple-A classification. The 2010 team also clinched on August 21.
The Bulls fell behind early when Merrill Kelly gave up a first inning home to Brent Morel, but the Bulls bounced back with a run in their half of the first on Shelley Duncan’s sacrifice fly.
Duncan, who is the only current Bull to win a Triple-A National Championship, in 2008 with Scranton, added a two-run homer in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Kevin Kiermaier had two hits and scored the Bulls first run. He also gave Durham the lead in the second with a two-run double. Jesus Flores had a bases-loaded single in the third that drove in two runs and added a third RBI in the seventh.
Mike Fontenot, the only current Bull with a World Series ring-from 2010 with the Giants-had a single, double, and scored twice.
Kelly (W, 8-3, 3.07) earned his second straight win with 7 innings of five-hit ball, striking out 6.
The Bulls will open the playoffs at home against the IL West division champion on September 4. In the more immediate future, the Bulls hit the road for two games in Norfolk. The first is at 7:05pm on Thursday. RHP Matt Buschmann (7-1, 2.94) starts for the Bulls against LHP Zach Britton (5-5, 4.74).
Thanks to DBBC’s Scott Carter for this capcom story & graphic.