DURHAM, N.C. - It took extra innings to decide the winner between the top two teams in the International League Thursday night, as the Durham Bulls got an RBI single from Johnny Field in the 11th to come away with a dramatic 1-0, walk-off win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at the DBAP.
With 9,470 fans in attendance, both the South Division leading Bulls and the North Division leading RailRiders were held off the scoreboard for the first ten innings of the game. Durham was finally able to break through for the only run of the night in the 11th, as Field lined an RBI single to left field to score Kean Wong and give the Bulls a walk-off, 1-0 victory.
Prior to the extra-inning drama scoring opportunities were few and far between for both teams throughout the night, with the RailRiders collecting only four baserunners on three hits and a walk while the Bulls finished with 10 baserunners on six hits and four walks. The two teams also combined for 30 strikeouts, including 17 by the Bulls' pitching staff against the RailRiders.
New Bull Mike Broadway set the tone for the Durham staff with two perfect innings in his debut, while relievers Chih-Wei Hu , Andrew Kittredge , Hunter Wood , and Diego Castillo combined to allow just two singles, a double, and a walk over nine combined shutout frames.
The Bulls' bats, meanwhile, stranded the bases loaded in the third and had only one other runner reach scoring position for the next seven innings. Finally in the 11th, Wong led off the frame with a double off the top of the Blue Monster in left field to put the winning run in scoring position. Two outs later, Wong was standing on third when Field lined a ball to the base of the wall in left to drive home the only run of the night and give the Bulls the 1-0 win.
Field finished the game 1-4 with his game-winning RBI, while Wong went 2-4 with a run scored and a walk.
Castillo (2-2) earned the win with three strikeouts over two scoreless innings, while Scranton reliever Joe Mantiply (5-5) took the loss after allowing the game's only run on three hits over 1.2 innings on the mound.
The Bulls (72-45) and RailRiders (75-42) will face off again Friday in game two of the four-game series, with LHP Ryan Yarbrough (12-5, 3.27) taking on RHP Chance Adams (8-3, 2.37) at 7:05 pm.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.