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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ho-hum? Heck no! Bulls win South once again

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 1:26 AM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls' magic number is one heading into tonight's contest with the Gwinnett Braves. So if the defending Governors' Cup champion Bulls win - or if the second-place Norfolk Tides lose at Charlotte - they'll claim their 12th South Division title and 13th playoff berth in their 17 seasons in the International League. Long-ago former Bulls skipper Brian Snitker manages Gwinnett. Matt Andriese (11-7, 3.76) will take on the Braves' Terry Doyle (3-3, 3.30). Durham gets solid pitching all night, scratching out enough runs to clinch the division title with a 4-2 win. ...

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Mahtook's two-out double in ninth foils no-hit bid from Tides' Wright

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 12:54 AM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls are inching ever closer to their 12th division title and 13th playoff berth in their 17 seasons in the International League. Heading into tonight's game with the second-place Norfolk Tides, Durham's magic number to clinch a second straight South Division crown is six with 13 games left in the season - all against either the Tides or the Gwinnett Braves. Nathan Karns (9-6, 4.45) will look for his eighth straight quality start tonight against East Carolina alum Mike Wright (4-11, 5.16). This time it's Wright that gets the quality start - an...

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mudcats drop series opener to visiting Beach boys

Posted By on Sat, Aug 9, 2014 at 1:59 AM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Good news for the Carolina Mudcats is that they're in the pennant race in August. And if they win the second-half race in the Carolina League's Southern Division they'll be in the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They're currently in third place at 23-23, 2 1/2 games behind tonight's opponent from Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans won the first half, so if they win the division and the Mudcats take silver Carolina will be in the playoffs - although the entire best-of-3 would be on the Grand Strand. Carolina trails Winston-Salem by half a...

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wilmington ekes out 10th-inning victory over Mudcats

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 2:12 AM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have the Carolina League's best record in the second half after having its worst in the first. But tonight they'll try to break a two-game skid. It's the middle of a three-game home series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, who could take over first place in the Northern Division with a win. Cole Sulser (3-9, 5.05) will take on the Rocks' Glenn Sparkman (6-2, 1.43) in a battle of right-handers. Wilmington has a couple of familiar faces, as closer Mark Peterson is an alumnus of Sanderson High while hitting coach Milt Thompson played...

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Loss leaves Mudcats harder road to catch Myrtle Beach

Posted By on Sat, May 24, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Photo by Dean Strickland, ODMudcats ace Shawn Morimando responded with a quality start Saturday night.FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It's opportunity time for the Carolina Mudcats, as they continue their series with the first-place Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Carolina, which is in third place in the Carolina League's Southern Division and 6 1/2 games behind Myrtle Beach, won the opener of their four-game series on Friday night and have seven more games left against the Pelicans with 25 games left in the first half. Tonight, Carolina ace Shawn Morimando (5-2, 3.83) will take on the Pelicans' Sam Wolff (4-3, 3.06). Carolina hitting coach...

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Perez, Louisville sneak past Bulls in extra-inning nail-biter

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM

File photo by Orin DayBulls outfielder Jerry Sands takes a cut.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK Another check-in on the Durham Bulls, who are tied for their usual first-place spot in the International League's South Division. Tonight is Game 3 of a four-game set against the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds' affiliate which is in third place in the West Division. The teams have split their first two meetings, and will square off again in Mid-June at Louisville Slugger Field. Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.47) will square off with the Bats' Wang Chien-Ming (3-4, 4,79) on a cool spring evening. The teams go...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Unlucky 13 for Bulls in slugfest loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:24 AM

Photo by Orin DayDurham's Mikie Mahtook slides in safely at third. Durham manager Charlie Montoyo is at rear. RailRiders third baseman is Zelous Wheeler. Umpire is Joey Amaral.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK Checking in on the Durham Bulls, who after 25 games are sporting the most wins of anybody in the International League. Of course that’s par for the course for a team that’s made the playoffs 12 times in its 16 seasons in the league.Tonight is Game 3 of a four-game set with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, erm, RailRiders. The former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and Empire State Yankees are managed...

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Merritt, Mudcats take series lead over Nationals in pitchers' duel

Posted By on Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 10:18 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Checking in on the Carolina Mudcats, who are off to a 1-1 start heading into their first Saturday night home game of the season. It’s Game 3 for new skipper Scooter Tucker against the Potomac Nationals - the current affiliates of the Washington Nationals, of course — who were long ago known as the Prince William Pirates.Photo by Dean Strickland O.D.Mudcats starter Ryan Merritt fires a strike against Potomac.Heading to the mound tonight for the Mudcats is Ryan Merritt (6-9, 3.42 at Lake County before a late callup to Zebulon last season.) The Nationals will counter with...

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sands, Bulls come back to save Opening Night

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Photo by Orin DayThe Durham Bulls showed off their massive new video board for the first time Thursday night.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The password is “Bulls Reborn” as the Bulls’ yard has a whole new look and feel for its 20th season. The place has undergone a $20 million renovation since last season, with a revamped entry plaza, a massive new video board inside the left-field “Blue Monster” and a huge club-level lounge behind home plate. Manager Charlie Montoyo is back for his eighth season as the Bulls begin defense of their Governors’ Cup title against the South Division rival...

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Play ball! Bulls, Mudcats open seasons in just a few hours

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 12:19 AM

File photo by Chris BairdPitching should be a strength as the Bulls open defense of their Governors' Cup tonight.They’re at both ends of the full-season minor-league spectrum. The Durham Bulls, who have billed themselves as “America’s Favorite Minor League Team,” play at the Triple-A level, just one step from the Major League show. In their 17th season as the top affiliates of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bulls are defending Governors Cup Champions and during their run have won that title four times plus one National Championship. The Carolina Mudcats play in the storied Class A-Advanced Carolina League, where they...

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mudcats lose in extras, move to brink of elimination

Posted By on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Talk about a must-win situation. The Carolina Mudcats are facing one in their final regular-season home game, which will be their final home game of the season if they don’t work a miracle. The Mudcats are in third place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, five games behind the first-place Salem Red Sox who visit tonight for the finale of their three-game series. Both teams have eight games left in the season. Salem has won the first two, but more importantly eight of its last 10 games while the Mudcats are 3-7 over the same span. So...

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mudcats win again, stay in position for playoff spot

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are right in the race for a playoff spot as the season goes into its stretch run. In fact, if the season started today Carolina — which was the losingest team in Organized Baseball in the first half — would have a Mills Cup Playoff spot. But as long as they stay in second-place behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, there’s a problem. They would have to play the entire Southern Division series on the road. Heading into the three-game series that starts tonight on a warm evening, the Pelicans have a 2 1/2-game pad...

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Mudcats take advantage of Nats' iron gloves to win series opener

Posted By on Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Even with a two-game losing streak and coming off a wrong-way shutout, the Carolina Mudcats are in first place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division with less than a month left in the season. That’s a far cry, of course, from their worst record in baseball in the first half of the campaign.File photo Tonight’s opponent is another playoff contender, the Potomac Nationals who lead the Northern Division by six games and have the best record in the league. Southpaw Shawn Morimando (7-10, 3.07) goes for the Mudcats against Paul Demny (0-0, 3.86) on a pleasantly warm...

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Once sad-sack Mudcats closing in on Southern Division lead

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 11:54 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The second half of the season sure hasn’t been like the first half was for the Carolina Mudcats. David Wallace’s team went 22-48 over the first half of the season, finishing last in the Carolina League with one of the worst records in baseball.Indy file photo But in the second half, the Mudcats have been contenders. Carolina is currently solidly in second place — and in a presumptive playoff spot — in the CL’s Southern Division with a 21-16 mark. Tonight they’ll open a three-game series with the Frederick Keys, with Nick Pasquale (3-6, 4.31) taking on...

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Morimando starts shutout as Mudcats get back to .500

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Photo by Chris BairdShawn Morimando threw fve shutout innings in his second straight start.FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are playing much better in the second half than they did in the first, when they were the worst team in the Carolina League. Going into tonight’s hot game against in-state rival Winston-Salem the Mudcats are just one game below .500 in the second half, in third place in the Southern Division with a half-game lead over the Dash. The last time the Muddies were at .500 in a half was on April 15. Carolina is coming off a thriller from...

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Pasquale, Mudcats roll it up before fireworks in front of big crowd

Posted By on Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats conclude their three-game Independence Day celebration on a hot night, looking to even their current series.Photo by Chris BairdNick Pasquale pitched his best game of the season in Friday's win.Carolina carries a 4-9 second-half record into Game 2 of their four-game set against the Salem Red Sox, and will feature a post-game fireworks display for the third straight evening. Nick Pasquale (0-5, 5.14) will try to get out of the doldrums against Salem southpaw Henry Owens (6-3, 2.91). Tonight Carolina plays probably its best game since April, rolling in a 9-0 rout....

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Late-inning fireworks spark Mudcats' win over Hillcats

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 11:50 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The good news for the Carolina Mudcats is that it’s early yet — at least in the second half. After a Tuesday night rainout, the Mudcats (3-8 in the half) will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats in the finale of their scheduled three-game series. (Tuesday’s contest will be made up on Aug. 21). It’s the first of three straight home games that will be followed by fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. Michael Peoples (0-4, 5.87) will go for the Mudcats tonight against Jarrett Miller (5-5, 4.08) after a 31-minute rain delay. The Mudcats recover from losing a...

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bullpen runs up a line of zeroes as Mudcats win in a shutout

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:56 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Class A Baseball is all about second chances, and the Carolina Mudcats are getting theirs. The Mudcats finished last in the Carolina League’s Southern Division in the first half. But with all four of their mid-season all-stars — center fielder Tyler Naquin, shortstop Francisco Lindor, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and pitching ace Cody Anderson — returning they’re aiming for a playoff spot with a second-half comeback. Frederick’s leadoff man is Johnny Ruettiger, whose uncle was immortalized on film in the movie “Rudy.” Former Mudcat Delvi Cid is a Keys outfielder. Carolina picked up a 3-2 victory over...

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Bulls rally falls short, lose to Indians in extras

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM

After rallying from a four-run deficit, the Durham Bulls were not able to surpass the Indianapolis Indians, falling 6-4 Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. In front of an almost sold out crowd of 9.565, fans were into the game early and often. The wave was first spotted in the third inning. There wasn't a section of the ballpark without fans—even the grass section in center field. Right-handed starter Merrill Kelly, who was recently called up from Double-A Montgomery, struck out 10 batters through 5.1 innings in his debut Triple-A start. "I didn't know what to expect from him,"...

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mudcats' first-half woes get worse with extra-inning defeat

Posted By on Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Photo by Chris BairdShawn Morimando fires a strike early in Saturday's game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have been eliminated from the Carolina League’s first-half race for about a week, so now they’re trying to get momentum for a better second half. Tonight David Wallace’s club will play the second of a three-game set with its nemesis Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who come in percentage points ahead of the Winston-Salem Dash atop the Southern Division and have won all but one meeting in the series. There is some drama tonight as Shawn Morimando (4-5, 2.79) looks...

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mudcats' woes get worse with late Salem comeback

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 10:41 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Back again with the Carolina Mudcats, who are desperately needing to mix in a win. The Carolina League’s last-place team will take a five-game overall losing streak and eight-game overall losing streak into tonight’s contest with the Salem Red Sox. Salem, incidentally, has been in the CL since 1955 and is the league’s most-renamed team. The franchise has been the Avalanche, Buccaneers and Redbirds during my time covering the league and the Pirates and Rebels before that. Salem’s pitching coach is Nelson Paulino, whose local claim to fame is that he played for the 1994 Durham Bulls,...

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Mudcats suffer rare sweep at home, stay double digits out of first

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:47 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats will finish their series with the Lynchburg Hillcats on an unseasonably cold evening. And right now it’s about turning around the momentum. The Mudcats are in last place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, 10 games behind first place Myrtle Beach with 34 games left in the half. So for the team, it’s all about getting the momentum headed in the right direction. The visiting Atlanta Braves’ affiliates will look for a sweep of the four-game series. Nick Pasquale (0-0, 2.19 at Lake County) will make his Mudcats debut against Navery Moore (2-4, 6.69)....

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Wil Myers suffers tummy upset, but Bulls wave off Chiefs, win 4-2

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM

On a perfect night for baseball, with temperatures in the mid 60s, the Durham Bulls defeated the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-2, in its only win of the four-game home stand. The crowd on hand, 8,227, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park was electric all night and even sustained “the wave” for almost the entirety of the eighth inning. Bulls fans had plenty to cheer about early and often as the team scored in three consecutive innings, third through fifth, and added an insurance run in the eighth. Starting pitcher J.D. Martin (4-1) was solid once again this season, completing seven innings of...

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bulls lose to Chiefs, twice

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

I’m a new intern with INDY Week with a primary focus of covering the Durham Bulls over the summer. Next fall I’ll be a senior at N.C. State and the sports editor at N.C. State's campus paper, the Technician. Tuesday night’s Bulls game was my first experience at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and this summer I'll be looking for stories as I follow the team. There are 25 players on the active roster, and with all of the comings and goings of a minor league team, I can expect to encounter many new names. So, last night's game against...

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Clutch hitting Keys Frederick victory over host Mudcats

Posted By on Sat, May 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Back to the Carolina Mudcats on an unseasonably cool, cloudy May evening, and they have some work to do. The Carolina League plays two 70-game halves, and 28 games into the race they’re in last place and five games out of first in the Southern Division. Tonight they’ll play the second of a three-game set against the Frederick Keys, affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, who are percentage points out of first in the Northern Division after a 4-3 win in 11 innings on Friday. The Keys have several personalities of interest in the lineup. They have last...

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