DURHAM, NC -A ninth inning home run broke a tie ballgame, giving the Columbus Clippers a 5-4 victory over the Durham Bulls Thursday night at the DBAP.
Tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, Eric Haase hit a 1-1 pitch over the Blue Monster for his 16th home run of the season, putting Columbus in front at 5-4. In the bottom of the frame Durham got the tying run to third base, but a groundout to shortstop ended the contest, and gave the Clippers a 3-1 series victory.
The Clippers (61-55) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Yandy Diaz drove in Oscar Mercado with a single to center field. Mercado reached with a lead off infield single. Brandon Barnes followed with an RBI double to right field to score Diaz.
After the visitors extended their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth on a two-run home run by Eric Stamets, the Bulls tied the game 4-4 with two-run homers from Nate Lowe and Adam Moore. Four of the five hits for Durham came in the home half of the fourth.
Mike Franco (L, 3-3) was saddled with the loss, his third of the season after allowing the go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning.
Tyler Olson (W, 2-1) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four to earn his second win of the campaign.
The Bulls (63-50) remain 3.5 games up on Norfolk for first place in the South Division after the Tides fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6-2 earlier in the day.
The Bulls open a three-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at the DBAP. Chih-Wei Hu (3-7, 4.83) is scheduled to start for the Bulls opposite lefty Nestor Cortes (5-5, 3.72).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.