DURHAM, N.C. - For the second straight night the Durham Bulls edged the Columbus Clippers by a run, taking Game Three of the best-of-Five set 3-2 Friday night at the DBAP to move to within one game of the Governors' Cup Finals.
It was the second straight win for the Bulls after dropping the opening game in Columbus Wednesday evening, and the win gives Durham a 2-1 series lead.
The Bulls scored two quick runs in the first inning, as Justin Christian lined a leadoff double into the left field corner. Jeremy Moore singled him home, and later scored on a double off the center field wall by Tim Beckham for a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning second baseman Nick Franklin extended Durham's lead, hitting the inning's first pitch into the right field stands for a solo home run and a three-run Bulls advantage.
Bulls' starter Matt Andriese appeared to have things well in hand, striking out seven and allowing just one run through his first four innings. He ran into trouble in the fifth frame though, as former Bull Elliot Johnson led off with a homer to center, and Ryan Rohlinger followed with a solo blast to right, cutting the Bulls' lead to one.
Left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser struck out three in two innings of relief, stranding the tying run at third in the seventh inning. Josh Lueke stranded the tying run at second an inning later, and Adam Liberatore earned his second save in as many nights with a scoreless ninth.
Andriese (1-0) earned the victory, allowing just the two solo homers over five innings while striking out eight. Shaun Marcum (0-1) took the loss, surrendering three runs on five hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Offensively for the Bulls, Christian finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk, while Beckham contributed a 2-for-4 night with an RBI.
Durham aims to take the series Saturday afternoon when it sends RHP Nathan Karns (9-9, 5.08) to the hill opposite LHP Nick Maronde (0-0, 0.00) for Columbus. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.