Norfolk plated seven first inning runs and held off a Durham rally to knock off the Bulls 8-4 Sunday night. With the win, the Tides clinched the IL South division title and a berth in the International League playoffs.
Norfolk plated seven runs in the first inning and sent 11 men to the plate in the frame, as the Tides clinched their first division title since 2005. Henry Urrutia had two hits in the inning, including a two-run single off of Scott Diamond (11-6) that capped Norfolk's highest scoring inning of the season.
With the win, the Tides wrapped up the division title, setting up a first round playoff matchup against the IL West champions. Both Columbus and Indianapolis are still alive for the IL West title, with the West champion slated to take on the Tides in a best of five series beginning Wednesday night at Harbor Park at 6:35 pm. The first two games will take place in Norfolk, with the following three games (if necessary) being played at the home park of the IL West champion.
Dana Eveland (2-0) earned the win by tossing four shutout innings in relief of Tyler Wilson, who was making his first start with the Tides since coming off of the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Eveland allowed three hits and struck out three for the Tides, who outlasted Gwinnett in the IL South division - the only division in all of Minor League baseball this season that saw each of its participants have a record over the .500 mark.
Tickets for the first round matchup are currently available online at NorfolkTides.com. Tickets will also be on sale at Harbor Park beginning Tuesday morning at 10:00 am.
The Tides wrap up their regular season Monday afternoon at Durham, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05. Elih Villanueva (4-4, 4.82) gets the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by right-hander Jared Mortenson (1-0, 6.75).