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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mudcats score five runs in eighth to win 7-2, take Wilmington series

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Checking in on the Carolina Mudcats, who are in last place and seven games out of first in the Southern Division of an unbalanced Carolina League. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Mike RaylIt’s the finale of a four-game set against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, who have an identical 24-27 record with the Mudcats but are in second place and 4½ games out in the North. Both teams have 19 games left in the first half. Carolina will go for the series win tonight, sending southpaw Mike Rayl (3-5, 4.07) against Wilmington’s Sugar Ray Marimon (3-0, 2.13). The...

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ty goes to the winner: Carolina RailHawks eliminate MLS champs LA Galaxy from US Open Cup, 2-1

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Chris BairdTy Shipalane finishes with flair, netting the equalizer in the Carolina RailHawks' 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy Tuesday night in Cary, N.C.WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—In an early season full of setbacks and disappointments, the last fortnight has been fortuitous for the Carolina RailHawks. On May 16, the club learned that a victory in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup would likely earn them a home draw against the L.A. Galaxy, the defending Major League Soccer champions. Then, the RailHawks took care of business against PSA Elite last Tuesday, dismantling the amateur side 6-0 for...

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Monday, May 28, 2012

"We've got proper footballers coming": LA Galaxy arrive to face Carolina RailHawks in U.S. Open Cup

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Neil MorrisAt a training session Monday in Cary, N.C., the L.A. Galaxy are racing into their U.S. Open Cup match against the Carolina RailHawksWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—On January 27, 1968, Leeds United—then one of the elite clubs in English football—visited lowly Derby County—then mired near the bottom of the Second Division—in the Third Round of the 1967-68 FA Cup. As dramatized in the 2009 film The Damned United, Derby manager Brian Clough spent the run-up to the match pruning the pitch, spit shining the loos and otherwise preparing to welcome “proper footballers.” Another group of proper footballers rolled into Cary...

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

No David Beckham at this Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match between LA Galaxy and Carolina RailHawks

Posted By on Sun, May 27, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Caleb Williams/ Wikipedia.orgDavid BeckhamAnswering the most-asked question for Triangle soccer fans leading up the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second third match between the Carolina RailHawks and L.A. Galaxy, David Beckham will not be present for this Tuesday's sold-out match in Cary. According to Justin Pearson, senior communications manager for the Galaxy, Beckham is one of several players who put in a full 90 minutes in Houston yesterday against the Dynamo who returned directly to Los Angeles. They would not be able to play two games with just two full days' rest. Moreover, Tuesday will be the Galaxy's third match...

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Matsui mania indeed! Japanese slugger has three hits, sets up winner for Bulls in 10-inning thriller with Norfolk

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s the finale of the Durham Bulls’ homestand, which may become known for years as the “Matsui mania” stand. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls outfielder Hideki MatsuiHideki Matsui and many of the 35 Japanese journalists he has in tow are still in the house as he tries to impress the Tampa Bay Rays enough for a callup. Matsui, who will play left field for the second straight night, comes into tonight’s contest hitting .121 with no homers and four RBI in nine games in the cleanup spot. Whether or not Matsui will still be with the Bulls...

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Durham Bulls nearly no-hit by Norfolk Tides: Godzilla Day 9

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM

The Durham Bulls lost last night’s game to the Norfolk Tides 4-0. The stars of the game were: Tides starting RHP Miguel Gonzales, who no-hit the Bulls for five innings and faced only 16 batters before being lifted for a reliever in the sixth inning; Bulls starting right-hander Chris Archer, from nearby Clayton, who gave up five hits and three runs in six innings while striking out 12 and walking only two; and Tides first-baseman Joe Mahoney who hit a two-run triple into the right-center gap off an Archer off-speed pitch in the third inning. Yet, I have to...

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Town of Cary: We expect to have new seating open in time for Galaxy game

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

David FellerathBrian Shriver, far left, will need to continue his strong form against the Galaxy. At rear, the new north stand under construction. 4:40 p.m. UPDATE: Triangle Offense contacted David Vaught, director of operations for the Carolina RailHawks. The "current allotment" has been sold, Vaught said, but the team expects 1,500 additional seats for the new north stand to become available Friday. Vaught said approximately 1,000 were sold last night to season ticket holders, and the rest were sold today in about three and a half hours. Approximately 6,500 tickets have been sold. The expansion of WakeMed Soccer Park isn't...

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A Galaxy not so far away: Carolina RailHawks manhandle PSA Elite 6-0, will face MLS champs next Tuesday in Cary

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Chris BairdBrian Shriver gets a leg up on PSA Elite during the Carolina RailHawks 6-0 U.S. Open Cup winWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—It’s 11 p.m., and like Santa’s elves, the Carolina RailHawks’ ticket sales staff is burning the midnight oil, aleady taking telephone orders for next Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup third round match against the L.A. Galaxy. In a season without many highlights thus far, it’s an event (and windfall) that promises to be one of the biggest in RailHawks history. But before visions of David Beckham could start dancing in their heads, the RailHawks had to accomplish something they haven’t...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Doyle, Olmedo lead Charlotte over Bulls for series split

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls will finish their series against the Charlotte Knights with one of those “getaway day” afternoon games the International League seems to enjoy. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls outfielder Leslie AndersonBoth teams will be off on Wednesday, and both have home games on Thursday. The Bulls have a nice 14-10 record at home, and lead the current series 2 games to 1. “Matsui mania” remains alive and well at the ballpark. Hideki Matsui’s entourage of 35 Japanese media is still in the house, and will be remaining as long as the one nicknamed “Godzilla” is...

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Matsui gets it done, gives Bulls game-winning hit in 10th

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM

File photo by Chris BairdBulls outfielder Hideki MatsuiDURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls will try to keep the home cooking going tonight, as they’ve won three of their last four at DBAP and are 13-10 in Durham this season. And despite the dropoff in attendance that’s certain to occur over the early weekdays, “Matsui mania” is still alive and well. Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui will be in his seventh game as a Bull after going 1-for-3 with a sac fly and a mad dash from first to score a run on Sunday against the Charlotte Knights.. Matsui’s entourage of...

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Torra's arm, Matsui's sprint, three HR lead Bulls in romp over Charlotte

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s Day 6 of “Matsui Mania” with the Durham Bulls, and not only does the Japanese legend have some work to do at the plate but his team needs to do some bouncing back. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls pitcher Matt TorraHideki Matsui, whose every move is being followed by about three dozen Japanese journalists, is hitting only .111 as he tries to get back to the big leagues with the Tampa Bay Rays. And he went 0-for-4 the previous night, as the Bulls took a 7-1 whipping from the Charlotte Knights in the opener of their...

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Gale-force winds of change: Carolina RailHawks draw 1-1 with league-leading Islanders

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Chris BairdNick Zimmerman has his hands full during the 1-1 tie between the Carolina RailHawks and Puerto Rico Islanders Saturday night in CaryWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/CARY—For the fourth time in their last five games, the Carolina RailHawks played well enough to win. For the ninth time in as many games this season, the RailHawks didn’t win. Going back to the end of last season, the RailHawks have gone 13 consecutive regular season games without a victory. So, why did an air of relief hover over the RailHawks’ 1-1 draw with the NASL table-topping Puerto Rico Islanders Saturday evening? In a word...

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Charlotte Knights down Durham Bulls: Commitment

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM—It has been a big home stand at the DBAP, about as close to big-league as the environment ever gets at the ballpark. Hideki Matsui is here. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kevin Youkilis came through, too, plus all the attendant media and excitement. The world has been watching. And last night offered more in the way of pageantry. Just two days after the historic Matsui-Matsuzaka meeting at the DBAP, Saturday was "one of the most important nights in the history of the Durham Bulls," as longtime PA announcer Tony Riggsbee, who donned a coat and tie for the occasion,...

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Feliciano's bases-loaded triple gives Bulls 6-5 win and series split

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s the finale of that high-profile series with the Pawtucket Red Sox, and for the second straight night there’s a sellout crowd in the house. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls outfielder Jesus FelicianoThe Bulls finally – that’s for the first time in seven tries this season – beat the PawSox 5-0 on Thursday night by jumping on rehabilitating starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. Pawtucket’s other rehabbing star, slugger Kevin Youkilis, is back in the lineup tonight as the designated hitter. And the Bulls of course continue to hit Japanese legend Hideki Matsui, who seems to be at the moment...

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Colin Clarke looks for course correction as Carolina RailHawks host Puerto Rico Islanders

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Photo by D.L. AndersonColin Clarke makes a point during a preseason practice.If only the Carolina RailHawks were flying as high as their head coach recently. After helming his team in Minnesota during last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Stars FC, Colin Clarke took a quick detour west to Portland, where he watched PSA Elite’s win over the Portland Timbers U-23s Tuesday night in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup before catching a red-eye back to Raleigh. The purpose of Clarke’s midweek sojourn was scouting the RailHawks’ debut opponent in Open Cup competition, which takes place next Tuesday,...

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Hideki Matsui and Durham Bulls beat Daisuke Matsuzaka and Pawtucket Red Sox: Monster Matchup

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Photo by D. L. AndersonThe Pawtucket Red Sox' Daisuke Matsuzaka warms up in the visitors bullpen at Durham Bulls Atheltic Park, May 17, 2012. DBAP/ DURHAM—"It felt like Opening Day," said Jim Paduch, the Independent League veteran who is only in Durham because Alex Torres finally pitched his way out of a starting job and who, with 10,000-plus on hand at the ballpark for an All Nippon Airways type showdown between two of Japan's most famous baseball players, ever, threw six shutout innings against the league's best team and made a loser of Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Bulls blanked the PawSox,...

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Youkilis and Pawtucket Red Sox beat Matsui and Durham Bulls: Posture

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Photo by HAMediaCan you find Hideki Matsui in this picture? DBAP/ DURHAM—There are suddenly many more things to observe than usual at the DBAP. There is the riveting preoccupation of witnessing the difference—ineffable yet undeniably profound—between great major-leaguers like Hideki Matsui and Kevin Youkilis, and minor-leaguers like, well, almost everyone else on the field last night. There is the sideshow of the two dozen or so Japanese media members at the ballpark, doting on Matsui's every at-bat and word. There is the vexing surprise of attending to a team that, after five years of success, is quite simply bad—and attending...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mudcats' comeback falls just short in loss to visiting Salem

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Checking in on the Carolina Mudcats, who are in the thick of the Carolina League’s Southern Division race. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats infielder Jesus AguilarWith just over a month left in the first half, the Mudcats come into tonight’s game against the Salem Red Sox 2½ games behind the first-place Winston-Salem Dash and one behind Salem. The teams are coming off a doubleheader split from Tuesday night on a cloudy evening, and Will Roberts (1-1, 4.50) will take the hill for the Mudcats against Ryan Pressly (2-1, 7.13). The Mudcats nearly come back from the dead in...

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U.S. Open Cup third round pairings announced; Carolina RailHawks could host LA Galaxy on May 29

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Today, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced prospective pairings for the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup, which takes place on Tuesday, May 29. Of special interest to Triangle sports fans is the news that should the Carolina RailHawks defeat PSA Elite, a fifth division side from Irvine, Calif., at WakeMed Soccer Park on May 22, the RailHawks will host the L.A. Galaxy of Major League Soccer the following Tuesday. No victory should be taken for granted by the winless RailHawks, so a win over PSA Elite, or any team for that matter, is certainly not a foregone...

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Matsui 0-for-4 in debut as Bulls drop opener to PawSox

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Photo by Al DragoNew Durham Bull Hideki Matsui prepares for a pitch. DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK There’s plenty of excitement around the Durham Bulls as they return home from a decent road trip and will now be starring a celebrity guest of sorts. Joining the Bulls on a minor-league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and batting cleanup is Hideki Matsui, trying to make his way back to the big leagues after failing to get a contract following a .251-12-72 season with Oakland in 2011. The former Yankee and Yomiuri Giant will be playing his sixth regular-season minor-league game. Matsui’s...

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Durham Bulls Road Roundup, Vol. 8: Matsuimania!

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Tampa Tribune, Cliff McBride / APHideki Matsui joins the Bulls tonight. The Durham Bulls return home tonight, after a 4-4 road trip to upstate New York, to start their second 10-game home stand of the season. At 7:05 p.m., they take on the IL North Division leaders, the Pawtucket Red Sox. It's the first game of the teams' annual four-game series at the DBAP. The Bulls are 15-24, still in last place in the IL South Division, 9.5 games behind Gwinnett. That is a deep hole to be in, and the Bulls have been in it for most of the...

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rome still under construction: Carolina RailHawks play well and still lose 2-1 to Minnesota Stars

Posted By on Sun, May 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

WEB/ BLAINE—What do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Exercising editorial prerogative, I’ll begin with the lousy lede. The Carolina RailHawks traveled to Minnesota Saturday evening to face the defending NASL champions Minnesota Stars FC for the second time this season. Back on April 7, the teams squared off in their season opener at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, a match the Stars thoroughly dominated yet came away with only a nil-nil draw. Yesterday evening, the RailHawks fared far better at the comparatively cosy confines of NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn. Carolina was more effective in...

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Durham Bulls split doubleheader with Norfolk Tides: Risk and Reward

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Photo by Al DragoThe Bulls' Jesus Feliciano is congratulated by teammates in the dugout on May 6, 2012 at the DBAP. DBAP/ DURHAM—Well, not technically a doubleheader. The first game was the resumption of Saturday's prematurely rain-halted affair, and picked up Sunday at 4:05 p.m. in the top of the third inning. The score to that point was 3-0, Norfolk, whose first three batters of the game had all reached and scored in the first inning off of Matt Torra: leadoff homer (Xavier Avery), single, walk, double.The Tides went on to win, 5-2, which essentially meant that the 3-0 beginning...

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rock Bottom: Saiko, FC Edmonton boss still-winless Carolina RailHawks 3-0

Posted By on Sun, May 6, 2012 at 8:24 PM

WEB/EDMONTON—Following last Wednesday’s second-half collapse to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, during which the winless Carolina RailHawks twice surrendered two-goal leads on their way to a 3-3 home draw, manager Colin Clarke made the obvious observation that Carolina’s defense is giving up too many goals. “I’ve got to look at some things and make some decisions,” Clarke promised. After presumably taking a look at some things, Clarke’s first decision was to submit the same starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s bottom bowl at also-winless FC Edmonton. The result, expectantly, was also the same: Shaun Saiko notched a second-half hat trick to propel...

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Durham Bulls Rain Suspended Friday Night: Cinco de Mayo at Geer Street

Posted By on Sun, May 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Durham/DBAP—The first pitch for yesterday’s game between the Durham Bulls and the Norfolk Tides was scheduled for 5:05pm. On my way to the game I stopped by a friend’s house in Old West Durham. At 4:30 I left for the game and made it only two blocks toward DBAP before buckets of rain came washing down. Sitting at a stop sign near Locopops on Hillsborough Road, I emailed Bull’s Media Relations Coordinator, Zach Weber, and asked him if he had an estimate on a new first pitch time (Bulls’ groundskeeper Scott Strickland is by necessity a functional meteorologist). Zach...

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This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

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