Bulls Season Ends as PawSox Clinch Crown
DURHAM, N.C. - The Pawtucket Red Sox limited the Durham Bulls to just three hits Saturday night at the DBAP, earning a 4-1 victory over the Bulls en route to the franchise's fourth Governors' Cup crown.
Pawtucket was in command from the start, scoring the game's first run in the top of the first inning when Bryce Brentz doubled to left field, scoring Ivan De Jesus. In the third the visitors doubled their lead when Rusney Castillo doubled to right-center field, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of De Jesus.
In the fifth the 2014 Wild Card winners struck again, this time when Ryan Lavarnway sent a solo homer over the Blue Monster to lead off the frame. Lavarnway, who closed the IL playoffs with a .324 batting average and six RBIs, was the named the 2014 Postseason MVP. The 2012 Governors' Cup champions tacked on insurance in the eighth inning as Corey Brown's double to right field scored Garin Cecchini, who had doubled earlier in the frame.
Durham plated its lone run in the bottom of the ninth, when with one out Jeremy Moore cracked a solo homer into the right field seats. The next two batters went down in order however, clinching Pawtucket's second title in the last three seasons.
Right-hander Kevin Couch (1-0) led the way for Pawtucket on the mound, as in his first Triple-A appearance of 2014 the 24-year-old allowed just one hit in 6 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking just two. Miguel Celestino picked up the save for the visitors, allowing one run on two hits while recording the contest's final seven outs. Righty Merrill Kelly (0-1) took the loss for the Bulls, allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings. Southpaw Enny Romero tossed two scoreless frames out of the bullpen, while CJ Riefenhauser allowed a run in the eighth before Josh Lueke tossed a scoreless ninth.
Pawtucket, which fell the Durham in the 2013 Governors' Cup Final, will now face the winner of the Pacific Coast League championship on Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark in the 2014 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game. They'll take on either the Reno Aces or the Omaha StormChasers, who are tied 2-2 in the Best-of-Five finals.