Friday, September 17, 2010

Durham Bulls' season comes to an end as Columbus wins title

The Durham Bulls fell in game 4 of the Governor's Cup championship Friday night in Durham 13-2.

Jason Kipnis led the way for the Columbus Clippers, hitting for the cycle to pace a 20-hit attack. The loss ends a record-breaking season for Durham, whose 92 total victories broke the team's Triple-A record and was the most since the 1962 team won 94 games in the Class-A Carolina League. The win gives Columbus their eighth Governors' Cup Championship in their history, and first since 1996.

Jose Constanza got the scoring started in the first inning off right-hander Paul Phillips, doubling off the left field wall before coming around to score on a ground out by Cord Phelps. They would add three more in the third, as Kipnis led off the frame with a solo blast to start the inning. Josh Rodriguez added an RBI single later in the inning, and another run came across on a sacrifice bunt by Constanza.

Phillips lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits to take his first loss at the Triple-A level.

The Bulls added single tallies in the third and fourth innings against Clippers starter Paolo Espino. Chris Richard brought home a run with an RBI double to plate Elliot Johnson in the third inning. After Columbus added a run in the top of fourth, it was JJ Furmaniak bringing home Angel Chavez with an RBI single as the Bulls cut the lead to 5-2.

The Bulls however were no match for the Clippers potent offensive attack, as they plated a pair of runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth inning to make it a nine-run advantage. In the fifth inning, Kipnis doubled and came around to score on a two-run single by Rodriguez which made the score 7-2. In the sixth inning, Kipnis completed the cycle with an RBI triple into the gap in right-center. Columbus would go on to add three more runs in the inning, making it 11-2 after six innings. They finished off the scoring with a pair in the eighth inning to make it 13-2.

Kipnis became the first Columbus Clipper to hit for the cycle since Mitch Jones in April of 2005, and the first to accomplish the feat at Durham Bulls Athletic Park since they became a Triple-A franchise in 1998.

Espino earned the win for Columbus, tossing 6.0 innings allowing two earned runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out five. Jerad Head finished the night 4-for-4, while Jared Goedert and Josh Rodriguez each had three hits for Columbus.

For the Bulls, JJ Furmaniak, Chris Richard and Rashad Eldridge each had two hits. Furmaniak finishes the 2010 Playoffs hitting .363 (12-for-33) with a double, triple and a home run.

Play-by-play account

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