Louisville, KY - The Louisville Bats fell short in their quest to reach the International League Championship Series, dropping the winner take all game five tonight 5-3 to the Durham Bulls at Louisville Slugger Field. The Bats were only able to scatter four hits and were never able to keep the momentum on their side.
The Bats grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the second inning. Juan Francisco got things started with a single to center. After a flyout, Yonder Alonso smacked a double to left-center, scoring Francisco and on the throw to the plate Alonso was able to move to third. Louisville was unable to push him across giving the Bats a 1-0 lead after two innings.
Durham wasted no time pulling even. In the top of the third John Jaso singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Henry Mateo lined his second single in as many at-bats to bring home Jaso and tie the game at one.
The Bulls pulled ahead in the top half of the fourth inning. Matt Joyce led off with a triple and Sean Rodriguez followed with a walk. Justin Ruggiano singled to score Joyce. Durham then loaded the bases with one out but Ray Olmedo grounded into a double play which allowed the Bats to escape the inning without further damage.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Danny Dorn launched his second home run of the post season for the Bats to tie the game at two. His blast was a no doubter and traveled an estimated 429-feet.
The next half inning saw the Bulls re-claim the lead. The first four batters reached base allowing a run to be pushed across and a sacrifice fly by Desmond Jennings gave Durham a 4-2 lead.
Louisville pulled to within a run in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Heisey and Jay Bruce reached base to start the inning. Francisco then hit what seemed like a double play ball to short but Bruce slide in hard and caused the Durham shortstop to throw the ball into the stands, allowing Heisey to score. With runners at first and second and one out Alonso lined a shot to third but it was caught and Francisco was doubled off second to end the inning.
Paul Phillips (1-0, 3.60) started for the Durham Bulls and earned the win. He worked five innings giving up two runs, on four hits, and struck out six. Phillips was routinely hitting 96 mph on the radar gun through his five innings. Winston Abreu worked the final inning-and-two-thirds to pick up the save.
Camilo Vazquez took the mound for the Bats. He only worked four-and-one-third innings, giving up two runs, walked three, and struck out two. Greg Atencio (0-1, 9.00) got the loss out of the bullpen.
The loss eliminates the Bats from the post-season and also ends their 2009 campaign. The Durham Bulls will move on to play the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees tuesday night in game one of the Governors' Cup.