Pat Osborn's RBI double capped a two-run eighth inning Friday as the Salem Avalanche edged the Kinston Indians, 5-3, to win the Carolina League Southern Division championship.
With the decisive third game deadlocked at 3-3, Mitch Einertson singled to start the eighth, took second on Mark Ori's groundout and raced around to score when third baseman Beau Mills made an errant throw after fielding Tim Torres' infield single.
Osborn followed with a two-bagger to left field to cap the scoring as the Avalanche advanced to meet Northern Division champion Frederick in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Mills Cup Finals on Saturday. It's their first appearance in the championship series since winning the title in 2001.
Einertson lifted a sacrifice fly and Ori ripped a two-run double in the third as Salem erased an early 3-0 deficit.
Reliever Christopher Blazek (1-0) allowed one hit and two walks while fanning five over 2 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Starter Bud Norris surrendered three runs on three hits with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 frames.
Jose Constanza stroked a two-run single and Brian Finegan added an RBI base hit in the second for the Indians, who were denied a chance at their second straight championship.
Kinston starter Sung-Wei Tseng gave up three runs on four hits and two walks with one strikeout in three innings. T.J. Burton (0-1) took the loss after yielding two runs on three hits while fanning one over 1 2/3 frames.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MLB.com.