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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jacksonville squeaks past Mudcats, who hit road on two-game skid

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 11:15 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats close out their homestand tonight against the Jacksonville Suns, and while they may not be at .500 yet, at least they have their credibility back. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Kris NegronThe team that lost 11 straight games in April will win the series with the Suns — who had swept their earlier five-game set in Florida — no matter the result of the fifth game. The Mudcats had a six-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, when they came up short in the nightcap of their doubleheader. Jacksonville’s manager...

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Hellickson loses, Montoyo tossed as Bulls drop fourth straight

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM

The Durham Bulls are in the doldrums, and the offense has been the problem. Photo courtesy Durham BullsDurham Bulls pitcher Jeremy HellicksonCharlie Montoyo’s club dropped its fourth straight game on a day the manager was ejected for the first time this season, dropping a 5-2 road decision to the Toledo Mud Hens. The Bulls have scored just six runs during the skein. It was such a bad day that ace Jeremy Hellickson (6-2) suffered his second loss. Ryan Ketchner (1-2) was the winning pitcher, while Casey Fien collected his second save. Robinzon Diaz led Toledo with three hits including a...

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Homers helps Mudcats to split while Durham Bulls lose third straight

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 12:27 AM

The Carolina Mudcats won their sixth straight game Tuesday night and then saw the streak broken. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Sean HenrySean Henry’s eighth-inning homer gave the Mudcats a 3-2 win over the Jacksonville Suns in the opener of their doubleheader at Five County Stadium before the visitors came back to win a 4-3 squeaker in the nightcap. Meanwhile the Durham Bulls weren’t quite able to complete a comeback on the road, dropping their third straight decision in a 5-3 loss to the Toledo Mud Hens. The Mudcats complete their five-game set against Jacksonville in...

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rollergirls slideshow: Carolina All-Stars vs. Detroit All-Stars

Posted By on Tue, May 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM

The Carolina Rollergirls returned to action Saturday night at Dorton Arena in Raleigh. The marquee match between the Carolina Rollergirls' A squad, the All-Stars, and the Detroit All-Stars, went to the visitors. The final score was 138-62, and the bout included several grand slams and double grand slams. This was the fourth time the Carolina All-Stars have met the Detroit All-Stars, bringing their overall match record to two victories apiece. In the night's undercard bout, the Carolina Bootleggers went down fighting against the Cape Fear Rollergirls, 129-83. Here's a link to my story in last week's Indy about the Carolina...

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Durham Bulls drop second straight, Mudcats are rained out

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 10:19 PM

The Durham Bulls dropped their second straight game and nearly got shut out on the road. Durham BullsRyan ShealyThe Carolina Mudcats didn’t play at all. Carlos Santana was the big hero for the Columbus Clippers, knocking a grand slam and a solo homer as they beat the Bulls 5-1 at Huntington Park to earn a split of their four-game series. The Bulls visit the Toledo Mud Hens for the opener of their four-game series on Tuesday night. Meanwhile the Mudcats and Jacksonville Suns were rained out at Five County Stadium, setting up a twi-night doubleheader on Tuesday....

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Introducing the adjusted USSF-D2 table: RailHawks far behind in 8th

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Andy Mead/ Carolina RailHawksThe RailHawks' Cory Elenio goes up for a header against FC Tampa Bay's Pascal Millien. For any number of reasons, the USSF-D2 doesn't have the luxury of achieving a pleasing, European-like regularity with its scheduling. Instead of having a league in which every team plays once or twice a week and stays within a game or two of each other in total matches played, we have one in which, to take the most extreme case, one team (Puerto Rico) has five games in hand on another (NSC Minnesota). Because we haven't seen this table produced anywhere else,...

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mudcats win fifth straight while Durham Bulls come up short

Posted By on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Sunday afternoon may not have been as hot as some have been recently, but it did nothing to cool off the Carolina Mudcats.Carolina scored a pair of runs in the ninth, beating the Jacksonville Suns 8-7 at Five County Stadium to win its fifth consecutive game. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Sean HenryThe Durham Bulls’ bid for a similar five-game streak didn’t go as well, as the Bulls fell 5-0 at Columbus. The Mudcats have three more home games over the next three days against the Suns, who came to Zebulon on Saturday on an eight-game...

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shealy's grand salami helps Durham Bulls to fourth straight victory

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Durham BullsRyan ShealyRyan Shealy's grand slam in the sixth inning made all the difference for the Durham Bulls, as they beat the homestanding Columbus Clippers 7-3 for their fourth straight win. Shealy has homered in two straight games and four of the last five. It was the Bulls’ first game this season without the services of major-league veteran Hank Blalock, who was recalled to Tampa Bay earlier Saturday. Justin Ruggiano was reactivated from the disabled list to take his place in the lineup. Joe Dillon added two hits and an RBI for Durham to help Heath Phillips (3-3) claim the...

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Klinker's arm, Eymann's bat lead Mudcats to fourth straight

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 9:51 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are definitely heading in the right direction, and tonight they open a five-game home series against a team that will be their most frequent opponent this season and has so far been their worst nemesis. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats pitcher Matt KlinkerThe Jacksonville Suns swept all five games of their series at The Baseball Grounds three weeks ago, lead the Southern League’s South Division and are currently on an eight-game winning streak. The Mudcats, meanwhile, seem to have righted their ship after their April troubles, and have won eight of...

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RailHawks player ratings vs. FC Tampa Bay, 5/14/10; plus Jeremy Christie interview

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Andy Mead/ Carolina RailHawksThe lineup on Friday nightGK Nic Platter - 4: Seemed to be caught out of position on a pair of lobs that were just off target. Probably not much he could have done on either goal.D Matt Bobo - 5: Both goals came from defensive breakdowns. The first was a header directly in front of the goalD Mark Schulte- 5: Ditto, gave balls away in the second half. The captain was an inspiring presence in the waning minutes.D Cory Elenio - 6: Wasn't severely tested in his stint at right back, made some impressive late runs and...

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Carolina RailHawks play best soccer of season...and lose to FC Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Andy Mead/ Carolina RailHawksGregory Richardson evades a tackle by Tampa Bay's World Cup-bound Jeremy Christie.WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/CARY - It is ironic that a collective stunned silence is the most memorable crowd reaction generated by the 2,641 fans—and free thunder sticks—who gathered at WakeMed Soccer Park to watch the Carolina RailHawks battle the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies. On a night when, for long stretches, the RailHawks played their best soccer of the season—“By miles,” according to head coach Martin Rennie—they also suffered their second consecutive home defeat of the regular season, falling 2-1 to Tampa Bay. The ebullience of a first...

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Hellickson gets win No. 6 for Durham Bulls while Mudcats end trip on the upside

Posted By on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 12:28 AM

The Durham Bulls started their road trip on the right foot Friday night. Durham BullsJeremy HellicksonThe Carolina Mudcats ended theirs, and were also on the winning side. Jeremy Hellickson became the International League’s first six-game winner, striking out 11 in six shutout innings as the Bulls win their third straight game with an 8-1 decision over the Columbus Clippers. Meanwhile the Mudcats survived a big comeback from the Tennessee Smokies, scoring two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to win 10-9 and claim victory for the fourth time in their five-game series with the Southern League’s North...

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hernandez's solid outing, Johnson's blast give Durham Bulls series tie with Toledo

Posted By on Thu, May 13, 2010 at 10:40 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls pitcher Carlos HernandezDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls got off the schneid on Wednesday, and tonight they’re looking for a win to earn a split of their four-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens. Unless the teams meet in the Governors’ Cup Playoffs, this will be the teams’ final meeting in Durham this season. Taking the hill for the Bulls is Carlos Hernandez (2-1), who has been one of Durham’s steadiest starters. Opposing him will be L.J. Gagnier, who is making his Triple-A debut. Hernandez has a great night while Gagnier ends up wishing he had...

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mudcats douse Smokies in extra innings again

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM

The Carolina Mudcats came up with some late-inning magic for the second time in three days in their road series with the first-place Tennessee Smokies. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Kris NegronKris Negron ripped a two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th and the Mudcats held on for a 6-5 victory, improving their record to 13-20 and leaving them eight games out of the lead in the Southern League’s North Division. The Mudcats finished with 10 hits in the victory, none of them for extra bases. Yonder Alonso added a two-run pinch-hit single while...

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Durham Bulls snap four-game skid as Mud Hens Hit Bull, Lose Steak

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2010 at 10:48 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull in happier timesDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls need wins. Charlie Montoyo’s club goes into Wednesday’s contest with a three-game lead in the International League’s South Division, but is also currently on a four-game losing streak. Responsible for half of that is tonight’s opponent, the Toledo Mud Hens, who not only spoiled the “Return to the DAP” game Monday night but also Game 2 in the series here last night. It’s mostly cloudy at first pitch, as Richard De Los Santos takes the hill against the Mud Hens’ Enrique Gonzalez. De Los...

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RailHawks bolster battered defense with David Hayes signing

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Just in the nick of time: After seeing the quick decimation of its defense early in the season, a reinforcement has arrived for the Carolina RailHawks. David Hayes, a veteran of pro soccer since he began his career with D.C. United in 1999, has signed with the club, the RailHawks announced in a press release. Hayes is coming off three consecutive seasons of being named to the USL-1 all-league team, the first two with the now-on-hiatus Atlanta Silverbacks and last season with the league's best team, the Portland Timbers. Hayes reportedly retired at the end of last season, but reemerged...

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walks, big inning help Mud Hens to second straight over Durham Bulls

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 11:03 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls infielder Elliot JohnsonDBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls are back “home” from their much-ballyhooed game against the Toledo Mud Hens at historic Durham Athletic Park on Monday night, and now it’s time to get back to pure business. The Bulls lost the opener of a four-game set 6-2 in front of a packed house at the old yard, but they go into their second meeting with the Mud Hens this season with a three-game lead in the International League’s South Division. This is the Mud Hens’ only trip to Durham this season unless the teams meet...

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Late Tennessee rally ends Mudcats' streak

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The Carolina Mudcats’ recent run of magic came to an end early Tuesday, as they dropped a 4-3 road decision to the first-place Tennessee Smokies that ended Carolina’s four-game losing streak. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Jake KahaulelioMarwin Gonzalez was the hero for Tennessee in the eighth, smacking a game-tying double off Jerry Gil (1-1) and later scoring the winning run. Jake Kahaulelio led the Mudcats’ offense with a solo homer in the first inning and an RBI single. Jose Castro added a double and a single with an RBI. Marco Carrillo (3-0) was the winning...

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Durham Bulls lose to Toledo Mud Hens at Historic Durham Athletic Park: "I feel like I'm in a movie."

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Jeremy M. LangeHeath Phillips throws a pitch in the first inning of last night's game.DAP/DURHAM—Who knows when I'll get to use "DAP/DURHAM" again for my dateline? I was prepared, as a book critic, to get very Proustian on you last night. Memory, nostalgia and the accompanying ache were all over this game—especially for me, because I grew up around the 1980s Bulls. I can name, from memory, a fairly large number of players from the 1980 team that re-inaugurated the Bulls' presence in Durham, and I will: Paul Runge, "Royal" Albert Hall, Milt Thompson, Gerald Perry, Hoot Gibson, Paul Zuvella,...

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Mudcats use 5-run rally to beat Tennessee in 10th

Posted By on Mon, May 10, 2010 at 11:44 PM

The Carolina Mudcats are hot again, and they carried that momentum on the road on Monday night. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Eric EymannEric Eymann’s two-run single brought across the winning run in the 10th before Dave Sappelt added insult to injury with a three-run homer in an 8-3 win over Tennessee at Smokies Park. It was the Mudcats’ fifth win in their last six games and their first over the Smokies, who swept a five-game series at Five County Stadium in April. Chris Denove had a two-run homer for the Mudcats, while Kris Negron added...

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Durham Bulls thumped by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees: More questions than answers

Posted By on Mon, May 10, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Durham BullsJeremy HellicksonDBAP/DURHAM—The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees beat the Durham Bulls last night, 9-3, in a game that had me searching for answers in a deep sort of way that I was unaccustomed to doing. What was wrong with Jeremy Hellickson, who took his first loss of the season? Why has the league's most potent offense suddenly gone cold again? Did I just watch Bulls' manager Charlie Montoyo come to the mound in the middle of an inning and lift an ineffective Winston Abreu? Is this currently unconvincing team actually leading its division by four games, with the International League's second-best record?...

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mudcats rip Chattanooga to win third straight

Posted By on Sun, May 9, 2010 at 5:45 PM

The Carolina Mudcats are definitely on a bit of a roll. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats infielder Eric EymannEric Eymann had four hits including a double with four RBI, leading the Mudcats to a 7-2 victory and their third straight win over the Chattanooga Lookouts at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats, who won four of five games in the series, outhit the visitors 16-6 on Sunday. Travis Webb (1-1) picked up his first Double-A victory, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts against three walks in the finale of the...

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Carolina avoid wipeout against Miami FC, Gardner’s far out floater gives RailHawks 1-1 draw

Posted By on Sun, May 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

WEBCAST—Like the tide that laps against the shore in nearby Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, there was an ebb and flow to the Carolina RailHawks’ road match against the Miami FC Blues, played before a crowd of literally hundreds at Lockhart Stadium (the “Cathedral of South Florida football,” according to Miami’s deliriously optimistic online play-by-play announcer). By the time the dust — most of it from the copious brown patches littering the pitch — had settled, the RailHawks had notched its second consecutive 1-1 draw, a result that would have disappointed supporters prior to kickoff but likely thrilled any who watched the first 80...

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Alonso sparks Mudcats to second straight win

Posted By on Sat, May 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM

The Carolina Mudcats are bouncing back. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsCarolina Mudcats outfielder Yonder AlonsoYonder Alonso homered and singled for three RBI while starting pitcher Alexander Smit helped his own cause with a triple, leading the Mudcats to an 11-6 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats’ second straight victory was their third in four days against the Lookouts, with the only loss an extra-inning affair in the completion of a doubleheader on Friday night. Kris Negron had a double and two singles and scored three times in Carolina’s 13-hit attack. Sean Henry doubled...

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Rough fourth inning ends Bulls' winning streak at four

Posted By on Sat, May 8, 2010 at 10:12 PM

File photo by D.L. AndersonDurham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls are flying high as they head into Game 3 of their four-game set with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The Bulls have a five-game lead in the International League’s South Division and are on a four-game winning streak. Meanwhile the Yankees, who over the past couple of seasons have been their biggest rivals, have lost three straight. The teams have split the last two Governors’ Cup Championships, with the Yankees winning the title in 2008 and the Bulls taking it last season en route to their first Triple-A National...

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