DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s the finale of the Bulls’ homestand as well as their four-game set with the Syracuse Chiefs, who came in as the hottest team in the International League.
The Bulls will be looking for a split on the heels of a 14-3 debacle on Thursday night.
Matt Buschmann (0-0, 3.38) will make his first Triple-A start for the Bulls while Zach Duke (9-3, 3.69) goes for Syracuse.
The Bulls keep it close until Syracuse’s four-run ninth, falling 11-7.
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls have been on a hot streak lately, and right now they’re taking on an opponent that has been even hotter.
The Syracuse Chiefs bring a nine-game win streak into tonight’s contest with the Bulls, following a 3-2, 12-inning victory here in Tuesday night’s series opener.
The Bulls will try to get it back tonight, as Alex Torres (2-3, 6.59) takes the hill against Tanner Roark (4-9, 5.37).
The visitors take an early lead before the Bulls stampede back, holding on for a 4-3 decision to even the current series.
DURHAM/DBAP—The Durham Bulls entered last night’s series opener with the Syracuse Chiefs having won five games in a row. After losing 13 consecutive games in April, Charlie Montoyo’s club had clawed its way to within five games of a .500 record, within sight (at least with binoculars) of playoff contention with almost half a season remaining, a semi-remarkable achievement, especially considering the weekly/daily roster turnover due to injuries and other problems with Tampa Bay and in Durham.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs entered the game having won eight games in a row, solidly in contention.
Thus, what happened shouldn’t be a surprise, with two hot teams lining up. When nine innings were complete the game was tied 1-1. The Bulls’ line score was one run, six hits, and one error. The Chiefs’ was one run, six hits, and one error.
Carolina would not notch its first league win for another four weeks. But in the meantime, it would earn an important draw against the league-leading Puerto Rico Islanders and, more significantly, defeat the LA Galaxy in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for one of the most memorable and exciting games in RailHawks’ club history.
Saturday evening before a crowd of 3,600 at WakeMed Soccer Park, the erstwhile low-flying ‘Hawks continued their phoenix-like rise from the ashes, winning the rematch with FC Edmonton by a score of 2-0. It was Carolina’s second straight clean sheet and, more importantly, its fourth consecutive league victory. The result elevates the recently cellar-dwelling RailHawks (4-5-4, 17 points) to the fifth position in the NASL standings, only six points behind current first-place Puerto Rico.
Durham/DBAP — I grew up in “little” Washington, North Carolina, a town of around 10,000 people in the Coastal Plains. In 1979 we scored cable television and suddenly we had 162 New York Mets games per year on WOR. For a period spanning roughly the 1980s I was an addicted Mets fan, aided by a couple of family trips to see the team play in Shea Stadium. In 1988 my obsession reached fever level. I had quit playing organized baseball earlier that year, the first time in my remembered life without it. I spent a college summer in Manhattan living in a 9th floor room with no air conditioning on Waverly Place near Broadway. More than once that summer the room’s shower put forth no cold water, only hot. My roommate and I had to fill the tub with piping hot water and wait for it to cool down in order to get halfway clean. Then I would put on a suit (the same one everyday, more or less) and take the PATH to Jersey City for a summer job in operations with Bankers Trust Co. Today, as I type this post, I have a "Bankers Trust" stapler sitting on my desk that I partook from the banal office tower at the end of the summer.
Cue up Sly and the Family Stone, Canes marketers. It's a Staal family affair in Raleigh.
In the league's biggest deal on the first day of the draft in Pittsburgh, Carolina acquired center Jordan Staal from the Penguins for center Brandon Sutter, minor league defenseman Brian Dumolin, and the eighth overall pick.
First and foremost, Carolina makes one of its franchise cornerstones happy. Jordan is the third Staal in the organization now. Younger brother Jared plays for the Canes' American Hockey League affiliate in Charlotte.
Given how dreary a year captain Eric had this past season, when the locker room could at times be mistaken for a buffet-less wake, the morale boost expected here is significant. Carolina has certainly been missing some kind of spark. This might be it.
In a more concrete respect, Carolina also upgrades their offensive punch. Given the second-line minutes he never got in Pittsburgh, 35 goals is a realistic target for Staal. He potted 25 this past season in 62 games. Staal's career high is 29 goals during his rookie season six years ago.
Even though the Triangle is finally getting its full summer swelter on, and the only ice on your mind has beer bottles nestled down into it, it's time to talk hockey.
As the National Hockey League entry draft begins on Friday night in Pittsburgh, trade rumors are flying and the Carolina Hurricanes are right in the thick of them. Scorers are in play and deals seem imminent. Caniacs, keep your sports radio on at the pool or beach this weekend.
"Patience isn't fun when you're not meeting your goals," he said, going on to state that the team would be actively looking to bring on a top-line scoring forward. Rutherford took pains to specify his interest in a "first-tier" player, rather than bargain alternatives like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Anthony Stewart, whom he signed last offseason. Let's just say that they didn't impress.
BB&T BALLPARK/WINSTON-SALEM It’s the 16th edition of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, so A-ball stars from both coasts are gathered for their annual battle.
Of course it’s the Carolina Mudcats’ first season in the Carolina League and the Zebulon club – which finished in last place in the Southern Division in the first half despite the fifth best record in the league – is well represented by designated hitter Jeremie Tice and right-hander Shawn Armstrong, the home team’s setup man tonight.
Former Winston-Salem manager Bill Slack, who spent two tours of duty as pitching coach of the Durham Bulls in their Carolina League days and is the league’s all-time winningest skipper, is the honorary manager of the home team.
The Cal League leads the all-time series 7-6-2 – yes, there have been two ties – and has won three straight. The game was first played at Rancho Cucamonga in 1996, ending in a wild 2-2 tie – before the 1997 contest was played in Durham and the West Coasters got their first win with an exciting 6-5 comeback. (The game was not contested in ’98 because of a comical scheduling snafu.)
The Carolina League takes command in the middle innings, scoring in the third through seventh to win in a 9-1 runaway.
The result was strangely appropriate for a game in which the RailHawks, playing without injured leading scorer Brian Shriver, should have scored more and their sometimes unsteady defense appeared destined to surrender multiple goals. After Breiner Ortiz squandered a one-on-one goal-scoring opportunity in the 36th minute, Austin Da Luz dispossessed Atlanta's DaniloTurcios in the 44th minute and fed a deft ball ahead to a streaking Zack Schilawski. The Carolina striker one-touched the ball past goalkeeper Daniel Illyes for his second goal this season the 1-0 lead at intermission.
Atlanta controlled pace and possession for most of the second half. However, they failed to put the ball on frame most of the night: only three of their 12 shots were on-target. Moreover, RailHawks keeper Ray Burse put on a terrific display to earn his second clean sheet this season, including a spectacular diving deflection of a Borfor Carr blast in the 78th minute and couple of header saves in the game's waning minutes.
Ty Shipalane, getting his first start since the May 12 match at Minnesota, blew two unabated scoring chances in the second stanza, both thwarted by Illyes, who compiled five saves of his own. However, in the 86th minute, Shipalane delivered a cross off the right wing that found the foot of second-half sub Brian Ackley in the goalmouth. Ackley directed the finish for the 2-0 final margin.
The win lifts Carolina (3-5-4, 14 points) into the sixth position in the NASL standings and only three points behind the 3rd-place Minnesota Stars FC. The RailHawks look to continue their winning way next Saturday, June 23 when they host FC Edmonton at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s the finale of a four-game series between the Bulls and the Toledo Mud Hens, and Durham is looking to get a little momentum.
Jim Paduch (2-4, 4.35) will take the hill for Durham against southpaw Andy Oliver (3-5, 3.93) as the Bulls go into an off-day Wednesday before heading out on an eight-game road trip to the North Division.
Toledo bangs out 15 hits, gaining a split of the series with an 8-3 win.