DURHAM, NC – Bulls left fielder Grant Witherspoon clubbed three hits and drove in two runs to extend his hit streak to twelve games while shortstop Vidal Brujan and right fielder Bligh Madris homered, however Tides second baseman Connor Norby, first baseman Tyler Nevin and center fielder Brett Phillips all went deep and combined to drive in nine runs in Norfolk’s 13-9 win over Durham on Wednesday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Despite the loss, the Bulls remain one and a half games ahead of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre thanks to the RailRiders’ 4-3 defeat to Lehigh Valley.
The Tides struck for six scores in the third, started by Norby’s RBI single to center, while Phillips capped the big inning with a three-run blast to center. Norby would then mashed a two-run blast to right in the subsequent frame prior to RF Colton Howser’s two-run shot to left-center, making it a 10-0 advantage. Witherspoon would end the Norfolk’s shutout hopes with a two-run single in the fourth before 2B Miles Mastrobuoni’s RBI single to enter narrowed the deficit to 10-3.
Tides C Anthony Bemboom in the next frame then smashed a solo shot in the fifth, with Nevin following with a solo blast of his own one inning later to make it 12-3. Madris would later make it 12-5 when he mashed his two-run roundtripper in the last of the seventh. Durham would score four more tallies in the eighth thanks in part to Brujan’s three-run blast to right. Norfolk, however, would hold on and plate an insurance run in the ninth.
Witherspoon (3-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI) and Brujan (3-5, R, HR, 3 RBI) posted a team-high three knocks, with Mastrobuoni (2-3, R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB), 3B Tristan Gray (2-5, R, 2B) and DH Luke Raley (2-5) adding multi-hit efforts as well for the Bulls. Norby (3-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI), Bemboom (3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and DH Greg Cullen (3-3, R, 2B, 2 BB), meanwhile, led the Tides with three hits apiece. Witherspoon dating back to the second game of Durham’s doubleheader on September 2 during his hit streak has hit .349 (15-43) with eight runs, eight doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI.
Norfolk reliever Beau Sulser (3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 SO) earned the victory, while Durham starter Easton McGee (3.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, BB, SO) suffered the defeat.
The Bulls are set to continue their final homestand of the year with the Tides on Thursday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm. RHP Taj Bradley is…