DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls fell to the Norfolk Tides 8-4 Sunday evening at the DBAP, as the Tides scored seven runs in the first inning and wrapped up the IL South Division crown with the victory.
Norfolk (78-65), which clinched its first IL South Division title since 2005, struck for seven runs in the very first inning. Henry Urrutia scored on an error for the first run, and two batters later Sharlon Schoop singled home Rey Navarro for a 2-0 lead. After a bases-loaded walk extended the lead to three, Julio Borbon knocked an infield single that scored another run. A groundout plated the fifth run of the frame, before Urrutia's two-run double put Norfolk ahead 7-0 before Durham even came to bat.
The Bulls (73-70) fought back though, starting in the second frame. Corey Brown and Ryan Brett knocked back-to-back singles to start the frame, and Brown scored on a throwing error by Norfolk starter Tyler Wilson. Two batters later Jose Constanza doubled, scoring Brett to cut the deficit to 7-2. In the third Durham scored a pair once again, this time as Cameron Seitzer punched a two-run single to centerfield to score Brown and Brett and make it a three-run game.
In the fifth Norfolk struck for another run, as David Lough's sacrifice fly to rightfield scored Christian Walker to extend the lead to 8-4. Both teams were held scoreless the rest of the way, sending the Tides to their first playoff berth in a decade.
Dana Eveland (4-0) earned the win in relief for Norfolk, tossing four scoreless innings out of the bullpen and striking out three. Southpaw Scott Diamond (11-6) took the loss for the Bulls, surrendering eight runs (four earned) on eight hits over six innings.
Brett finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for Durham, while Boog Powell tallied a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
Durham concludes its season on Monday at 1:05 p.m. against the Norfolk Tides at the DBAP. RHP Jared Mortensen (1-0, 6.75) takes the hill for the Bulls opposite RHP Elih Villanueva (4-4, 4.82) for the Tides.