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Monday, May 31, 2010

RailHawks move up to third: Adjusted USSF-D2 table, week of May 31

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Happy Memorial Day and welcome back to the latest edition of Triangle Offense's adjusted table. As we explained in our inaugural outing, due to the erratic scheduling of USSF-D2 league play, it's a little tricky to keep track of relative performance unless the points totals are adjusted to a per-game basis. The Austin Aztex are still in first place as their excellent form continues. Two teams have made big moves up: The FC Tampa Bay Rowdies should no longer receive the condescending qualifier "expansion team," for they're in second place—right on the heels of the Aztex. And the Carolina RailHawks,...

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Jeremy Hellickson and the Durham Bulls blank the Rochester Red Wings: Cutters and Koans

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Durham BullsJeremy HellicksonDBAP/DURHAM—Jeremy Hellickson is evolving incredibly quickly, and in ways that can be difficult to see at first. In the first inning of the Bulls' 6-0 shutout of the Rochester Red Wings on Sunday, Hellickson did what he usually does: throw pretty much all fastballs. By my count, in fact, all 16 of his first-inning pitches were four-seam heaters, and a few of them touched 94 mph on the DBAP radar gun. That's a tick faster than he was throwing them a few weeks ago, when he was around 90-91 most of the time. He struck out two to...

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

RailHawks continue road impact with 2-0 win over Montreal

Posted By on Sun, May 30, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Carolina RailHawksGreg ShieldsAfter amassing merely five points over the first five matches this season, trepidation was high for the Carolina RailHawks entering a tortuous four-game road trip to the most difficult venues in D2 soccer. Although their excursion is only half completed, Carolina has already used the time away to find their footing and confidence. On Thursday, the RailHawks won for the first time ever at Puerto Rico. Today, it was the Montreal Impact’s turn as Carolina won for the first time at Saputo Stadium before a reported capacity crowd of 13,034. Like the match against Puerto Rico four days...

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Mudcats drop another solid pitchers' duel as West Tenn takes series finale

Posted By on Sun, May 30, 2010 at 5:17 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have been playing well for the last month, and today they seek a pretty important win. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Sean DanielsonIf they can defeat the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, that will give them three out of five in the five-game series before Carolina hits the road for Jacksonville to start a 10-game road trip. A win would give the Mudcats their fifth straight series victory after a horrible April that included an 11-game losing streak. It’s sunny and very warm in front of a decent crowd on Memorial...

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Durham Bulls lose to Rochester Red Wings: With a Rally Monkey on their backs

Posted By on Sun, May 30, 2010 at 6:00 AM

DBAP/DURHAM—Just before the Durham Bulls came to bat in bottom of the ninth inning last night, the DBAP video screen flashed the words "Rally Time." That was understandable: the video guys often do that before the Bulls' final at-bat if they're losing, and it was 6-4, Rochester. The thing was, the Bulls had been rallying all night long. Red Wings' pitchers didn't record a single 1-2-3 inning in the game, and Durham sent at least five men to the plate in five different innings. Through eight, they had 14 hits. They made Rochester starter Jeff Manship burn through 89 pitches...

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feierabend keeps Mudcats at bay as West Tenn evens series

Posted By on Sat, May 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have won two of their first three games in their current series with the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, and are on the verge of winning their fifth straight series. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Jake KahaulelioThings are a lot different from they were in April, when David Bell’s club had that nightmarish 11-game losing streak. It’s a sunny evening as the fans prepare for traveling mascot “Rally,” and for the second straight night there’s a pretty good crowd in the house. The Mudcats send ace lefty Tom Cochran (2-1) to...

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Durham Bulls beat Rochester Red Wings: The Devil is in the details, but the Angel redeems them (and himself)

Posted By on Sat, May 29, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Photo by D. L. AndersonAngel ChavezDBAP/DURHAM—Or is God in the details? There seems to be some debate about this. Last night at the ballpark, it was almost certainly the devil, and God—or his Angel, anyway—didn't sweat the small stuff, needing just a single swing of the bat to take care of the Bulls' come-from-behind, 4-2 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. Although the outcome was different, last night's game in many ways resembled Thursday's: a lot of sleepy doings punctuated by a few bursts of excitement in the seventh inning, with Bulls' infielders Angel Chavez and Dan Johnson in the...

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Negron's slide helps Mudcats nip West Tenn 2-1 in pitchers' duel

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:09 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It’s Game 3 of the five-game set between the Carolina Mudcats and West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, and so far it has been a very competitive series at a win apiece. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Kris NegronIt’s hot and cloudy and everybody is hoping there isn’t going to be rain. There’s a decent crowd in the house as the “Memorial Day weekend” gets going. The Mudcats are running a “five millionth fan” promotion in their 20th season, and the big fireworks show is set to follow. Scott Carroll (0-1) is going for the...

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Go to the video: The goals from the RailHawks' 2-1 victory over Puerto Rico

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Jeremy M. LangeDaniel Paladini, seen during a 2009 game against the Puerto Rico IslandersThe reported attendance Wednesday night in the 12,500-seater Juan Ramón Loubriel, a converted baseball stadium in Bayamón, P.R., was 5,077, which seems a little generous, but perhaps not by much. Just as generous, perhaps, was the penalty awarded to the Carolina RailHawks by the thus-far unidentified referee to the RailHawks' Josh Gardner in the 83rd minute of the May 26 game against the Puerto Rico Islanders. There's no question the Islanders' Josh Hansen made contact after a heavy touch by Gardner, but some referees might have looked...

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Durham Bulls lose to Rochester Red Wings: Not so fast (and plenty of famine)

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

http://freelancewritingbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/bigstockphoto_feast_famine_-_road_sign_26868121.jpgDBAP/DURHAM — Rochester didn't beat Durham last night, 4-3. "We just gave it away," lamented Bulls' manager Charlie Montoyo after a dispiriting loss that saw the Bulls fail to exploit enough of the opportunities granted them by the league-worst Red Wings—and by the umpires—before returning a smorgasbord of favors late. They wasted a solid start from Aneury Rodriguez, allowed four unearned runs (in other words, all of 'em), struck out 14 times, and failed to do meaningful damage to the Red Wings' starter, Glen Perkins, who came into the game with a 9.09 ERA, and whom they had hammered for...

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

West Tenn ties series with Mudcats after scary moment early on

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats pitcher Alexander SmitFIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Once again the Carolina Mudcats have a chance to keep their momentum going. They go into the second game of a five-game home set on a little winning streak, and have pulled to within two games of .500. The opponent is the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, who are in second place in the Southern League’s North Division now only 1 ½ games ahead of the Mudcats. Dustin Ackley, taken by the Seattle Mariners with the second pick in last June’s draft, is West Tenn’s second baseman while...

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Daniel Paladini's last-gasp goal saves the day; RailHawks top Puerto Rico 2-1

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM

Carolina RailHawksDaniel PaladiniWEBCAST—Wow. It's too early to declare a trend, but for this night at least, it appears that last year's RailHawks, second-place finishers in USL-1, have finally reconvened after a very long off-season. Shaking off a lackadaisical start to a campaign that had seen them garner only five points from five games, the RailHawks managed to steal a victory against one of Division 2's best teams in one of the toughest stadiums in the Northern Hemisphere: the Juan Ramón Loubriel in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, home of the mighty Islanders. And the hero couldn't have been more appropriate: Daniel Paladini,...

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Danielson bomb helps Mudcats keep up the momentum

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 11:13 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are back home after a day off following a solid road trip, and now they see what they can do against a good South Division opponent. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Sean DanielsonIt’s the first of the five-game homestand all against the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, and one of only nine games the Mudcats will play against the Seattle Mariners’ affiliate this season. West Tenn is the only team in the division with a winning record besides the first-place Tennessee Smokies, and the Jaxx are in second place 3 ½...

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dillon's four hits spark Durham Bulls, who get a big save from Ekstrom

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 11:01 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls infielder Joe DillonDBAP/DURHAM It’s the finale of the Durham Bulls’ four-game home series against the Pawtucket Red Sox, and the Bulls have apparently gotten their mojo back. The Bulls came home on a five-game losing streak and have proceeded to win two of the first three games in the series. The teams have split 1-0 decisions in their previous two games. Tonight is the PawSox’ getaway night and the last time the teams will square off in Durham this season unless they meet in the playoffs. Heath Phillips (3-4) will go for the Bulls...

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Hellickson flirts with perfecto and no-no in Durham Bulls' 1-0 victory

Posted By on Mon, May 24, 2010 at 11:07 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls pitcher Jeremy HellicksonDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls and Pawtucket Red Sox went through a long, odd day on Sunday and really settled nothing between them. After the Bulls won in a turbo-blowout in the finish of the game suspended by Saturday’s rain and lost a one-run shutout in the rain-extended seven-inning affair that finished the day, in the words of Warren Harding they’re expecting a return to normalcy. The Bulls still have a 4 ½-game lead over the second-place Gwinnett Braves in the International League’s South Division, while Pawtucket is in fourth place and seven...

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Mudcats homer thrice to outslug Chattanooga

Posted By on Mon, May 24, 2010 at 10:56 PM

The Carolina Mudcats took advantage of three home runs, outslugging the host Chattanooga Lookouts 9-7 to win the finale of their five-game series. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Jake KahaulelioCarolina, which will have Tuesday off before returning to Five County Stadium on Wednesday against the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, finished with 15 hits to Chattanooga’s 13. Jake Kahaulelio homered and singled for two RBI for the Mudcats, while Eric Eymann and Mike Costanzo added solo shots. Dave Sappelt tripled, doubled and singled for four RBI for Carolina. Jerry Gil (3-1) was the winning pitcher while Tim...

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Durham Bulls demolish Pawtucket, and then take a wet 1-0 loss

Posted By on Sun, May 23, 2010 at 10:58 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls outfielder Dan JohnsonDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls have limped home at the end of a five-game losing streak, hoping the cancellation of Friday night’s game at rain-soaked Toledo might change their momentum. They still have a 4 ½-game lead in the International League’s South Division, and are 11-7 on the season at home. Saturday’s opponent is the Pawtucket Red Sox, who have traditionally been the Bulls’ worst tormentors. The Bulls beat the PawSox in three straight games to win the Governors’ Cup in 2003, but Pawtucket has the winningest record of any IL team against...

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Lookouts' big ninth inning foils Mudcats on road

Posted By on Sun, May 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM

The Carolina Mudcats definitely let one slip away. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Jose CastroThe Chattanooga Lookouts scored five runs in the ninth, ending the game on Corey Smith’s grand slam in a 6-4 win at AT&T Field. The win evened the series at two wins apiece heading into the getaway game on Monday. Smith finished up with two hits while Jaime Pedroza finished with three hits and an RBI for the Lookouts, who finished with 10 hits to the Mudcats’ 12. Denis Phipps led Carolina with three hits and an RBI, while Jose Castro had...

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rain washes out Durham Bulls in 2nd inning, but did it wash away hitting woes?

Posted By on Sat, May 22, 2010 at 10:48 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls shortstop Elliot JohnsonDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls have limped home at the end of a five-game losing streak, hoping the cancellation of Friday night’s game at rain-soaked Toledo might change their momentum. They still have a 4 ½-game lead in the International League’s South Division, and are 11-7 on the season at home. Tonight’s opponent is the Pawtucket Red Sox, who have traditionally been the Bulls’ worst tormentors.The Bulls beat the PawSox in three straight games to win the Governors’ Cup in 2003, but Pawtucket has the winningest record of any IL team against the...

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Mudcats can't quite complete comeback

Posted By on Sat, May 22, 2010 at 10:41 PM

The Carolina Mudcats made a late run at the Chattanooga Lookouts, but couldn’t quite climb out of the hole. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Denis PhippsChattanooga had a four-run lead going into the seventh inning, and single runs by the visiting Mudcats in the seventh, eighth and ninth weren’t enough to slash the deficit in a 4-3 loss. Corey Smith had three hits with a double and an RBI while Mike Rivera added three hits including a double for the Lookouts, who won for the first time in three tries in the current five-game series. Denis...

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Klinker has another solid outing as Mudcats win, Durham Bulls get a rain reprieve

Posted By on Sat, May 22, 2010 at 12:51 AM

The Carolina Mudcats continued their mastery of the Chattanooga Lookouts on Friday night. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats pitcher Matt KlinkerCarolina defeated the Lookouts for the fifth straight time, foiling a ninth-inning rally for a 6-3 victory on the road. Meanwhile the Durham Bulls may have gotten a reprieve from the rain, as their series finale against the Toledo Mud Hens was canceled and the Bulls will come home on a five-game losing streak. The Bulls will open a four-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox tonight, in the Boston Red Sox affiliate’s only visit to Durham...

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Friday, May 21, 2010

NASL’s AC St. Louis situation “very difficult”; no official comment from RailHawks for now

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 4:18 PM

The brevity of a telephone call with Carolina RailHawks’ majority owner Selby Wellman highlights the precarious circumstances involving St. Louis soccer franchises AC St. Louis and Saint Louis Athletica. Wellman, reached by telephone in Florida, stated he had no official or unofficial comment on the St. Louis situation at this time, per an agreement between league owners and at the behest of the United State Soccer Federation (USSF), who is overseeing the 2010 D2 soccer season. “We were alerted to this situation last week, and we decided any calls all have to be directed to the Federation,” said Wellman. “When...

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Reports suggest serious difficulties for AC St. Louis, second-division soccer

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 12:58 AM

Disturbing reports are circulating tonight in the soccer blogosphere that the two professional soccer teams based in St. Louis are on the verge of collapse. AC St. Louis, the expansion team for the USSF D2 Pro League, and the Saint Louis Athletica of the Women's Professional Soccer league, both owned in part (at least until very recently) by Jeff Cooper, a St. Louis lawyer, are in serious financial disarray, according to multiple reports. Firm, on-the-record comments are in short supply, but different news sources are reporting that the cash flow for the two teams has dried up, and that payroll...

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Mudcats get rain-shortened win, Durham Bulls drop fourth straight

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 12:32 AM

The Carolina Mudcats managed to end their short losing streak on the road Thursday night. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Denis PhippsThe Durham Bulls weren’t so lucky. Denis Phipps tripled and single to lead the offense as the Mudcats topped the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-4 in a game stopped by rain after eight innings. Meanwhile the Bulls’ recent scoring woes continued, as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the host Toledo Mud Hens that was their fifth straight defeat. The Mudcats play Game 2 of their five-game set with the Lookouts Friday night, while the Bulls will...

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Indy to join with Carolina RailHawks in celebrating soccer with new and classic films

Posted By on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 2:20 PM

courtesy of PELADAGwendolyn Oxenham, co-star of the documentary PELADA, in Uyuni, BoliviaWe're just three weeks away from the start of a little soccer competition in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup begins June 11, and to mark the month-long occasion, the Independent Weekly and the Carolina RailHawks will partner to sponsor a series of soccer-themed films. The schedule includes such classics as Bend it Like Beckham and Victory, and the venues include the Galaxy Cinema in Cary, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, the Lumina Theatre in Chapel Hill and The Pinhook bar in Durham. Additionally, area...

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