The Durham Bulls defeated the Louisville Bats Thursday night, 2-1, in front of a rabid crowd of 9,073 on ‘90s Night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The atmosphere was unlike anything this season at the DBAP, as players walked up to classic ‘90s hits with custom made album covers shown on the video board in left field.
Fans enjoyed themselves throughout the night, dancing in between innings to past Billboard hits such as “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice and “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. Even the grounds crew got into the action, stopping to dance while they raked the infield.
With the win, the Bulls clinched the four-game series, taking three-of-four from Louisville, and extended their lead to nine games in the International League’s South Division.
“A win is a win,” Manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We made some plays to stay in the game today. Our starter kind of struggled but battled to keep us in the game and made big pitches every time he needed to.”
Bulls pitcher Matt Buschmann (2-0, 1.59) got the start Thursday, his third with the team since being called up from AA-Montgomery on May 31.
Buschmann threw five scoreless innings, gave up four hits, four walks and fanned seven batters.
The Bulls didn’t take long to get on the board, scoring in the bottom of the first inning.
After a Vince Belnome double, his first of two on the night, Shelley Duncan singled to left field that scored Belnome, claiming an early 1-0 lead.
Belnome ranks first on the team and tied for second in the IL with 21 doubles on the season. Duncan hit two home runs and tallied 7 RBIs during the homestand.
Later in the fifth, Ryan “Tatman” Roberts who’s walk-up song was “Give it Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, singled to center field, scoring Brandon Guyer for the game winning run.
Roberts was added to the Bulls’ active roster Thursday, making his first start since being optioned from Tampa Bay.
“Basically, I was just trying to get back into the groove, taking it slow and praying that I just make it through the game with no injuries,” Roberts said. “It’s how the game goes. Guys were playing good and there was an opportunity for me to get in.”
Louisville didn’t go down without a fight, scoring in the seventh, but reliever Steve Geltz closed the door in the ninth, picking up his third save of the year.
The Bulls will travel to Buffalo tonight to take on the Bison at 7:05. Right-handed pitcher J.D. Martin (9-3, 2.89) will take the mound in the first of the four-game road series.
Boxscore is here