J. D. Martin put together an excellent season for the Bulls, going 16-4 with a 2.75 ERA, culminating with his being named the International League Pitcher of the Year. He continued his excellent season in the playoffs last night to lead the Bulls within a game of the Governor’s Cup Finals, and may be setting himself up for a long look in Spring Training next year.
Durham Bulls 6, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) 5 – Game Two, Governor’s Cup Semi-Finals
The Bulls came out on fire, hammering Indianapolis starter Graham Godfrey from the start. Godfrey faced five batters, giving up three doubles and two singles before getting pulled, as the Bulls jumped out fast in a five run outburst highlighted by a two run double by Vince Belnome and a two run home run by Leslie Anderson. That appeared to be enough of a cushion for J. D. Martin, who cruised through the Indians lineup through the first six innings. The Indians finally got to Martin in the seventh when Jerry Sands hit a two run homer to put Inidanapolis on the board. However, the Bulls got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, as Cole Figueroa grounded an RBI single up the middle to provide an insurance run. That run proved to be the difference, as the Indians came back in the top of the ninth. Sands hit his second home run of the game, a three run shot to pull Indianapolis within one. Kirby Yates came in and, after a walking the first batter he faced, struck out the next three batters to put the Bulls a game away from playing for the Governor’s Cup. Martin picked up the win, allowing two runs on eight hits over eight innings, striking out three batters. Figueroa was 2-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Daytona Cubs 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0 – Game One, Florida State League Championship Series
The night started badly for Charlotte starter Jesse Hahn, and never got much better. After the Cubs had runners on second and third to start the game, Hahn managed to hold Daytona to a run on a groundout. However, he was unable to get out of trouble in the second, loading the bases with one out. Pin-Chieh Chen doubled to clear the bases, and after a walk, Hahn’s night was done. The Stone Crabs bullpen did a solid job to give Charlotte a chance, holding the Cubs to a single run over the last 6.2 innings, but Daytona kept the Stone Crabs off the board. Charlotte had their best chance to score in the fourth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Drew Vettleson was thrown out at home on a base hit by Hector Guevara. Hahn took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks in 1.1 innings. Jake Hager was 3-4 in the loss.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) 9, Bowling Green Hot Rods 5 – Game Two, First Round of the Midwest League Playoffs
Nothing was going right for the Hot Rods over the first five innings. Despite taking a brief lead on a base hit by Patrick Leonard, Bowling Green found themselves behind 9-1 after the fifth inning. However, facing elimination, the Hot Rods were not about to go away quietly. Tyler Goeddel had a two run double in the sixth, and the Hot Rods got another run back in the seventh. Bowling Green appeared as though they may cut even further into the lead, loading the bases with two outs in the inning, but Thomas Coyle grounded out to end the threat. Although the Hot Rods got another run back in the eighth, it was not enough as they found themselves swept out of the postseason. Reinaldo Lopez took the loss, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk over three innings. Goeddel did his part to try to extend the season, going 2-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.