DURHAM, NC - With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, Jerry Sands crushed a pinch-hit, walk-off single to right field as the Durham Bulls defeated the Columbus Clippers 1-0 Saturday night at the DBAP.
With the outfield drawn in and the Bulls (19-11) just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position to that point, Sands delivered a line drive that short-hopped the right field wall, scoring Wilson Betemit for the game's only run and giving the Bulls their first walk-off victory of 2014.
The pitching matchup lived up to its billing, as both teams sent their ace to the hill in the Bulls' Merrill Kelly and the Clippers' Trevor Bauer, each of which were undefeated entering the night. Kelly went a season-high 7 2/3 innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits, while Bauer matched him every step of the way, throwing seven shutout frames while striking out six.
The Bulls squandered plenty of opportunities earlier in the game, as it began when they had runners on first and third with nobody out but failed to score. Then in the seventh Durham loaded the bases with nobody out, but again failed to score behind a double play and a strikeout. In the next inning the Bulls loaded the bases with none down once more, but again couldn't capitalize.
Kirby Yates (1-0) picked up the victory for Durham, tossing 1 2/3 innings while striking out four. Frank Herrmann (1-1) took the loss for the Clippers (13-14), allowing a run in 1 1/3 frames.
The four-game series comes to a close Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. when the Bulls send RHP Nathan Karns (2-2, 8.20) to the hill opposite Columbus LHP T.J. House (1-1, 2.08).