Joe McCarthy collected three extra-base hits and drove in four early runs for Triple-A Durham as the Bulls topped Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6-2, in the winner-take-all Game 5 of the Governors' Cup finals on Saturday.The International League title is Durham's second in as many years -- making it just the third IL
Joe McCarthy collected three extra-base hits and drove in four early runs for Triple-A Durham as the Bulls topped Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6-2, in the winner-take-all Game 5 of the Governors' Cup finals on Saturday.
The International League title is Durham's second in as many years -- making it just the third IL franchise to repeat as Governors' Cup champions twice -- and the sixth in the franchise's 21-year history.
McCarthy, Tampa Bay's No. 18 prospect, put the Bulls on the board in the first inning with his second postseason homer, a no-doubt solo shot to right field.
MILB Video - Title: McCarthy goes deep - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2490183883
He picked up his second extra-base hit in the third inning, when he and Rob Refsnyder extended the Bulls' lead with back-to-back two-out doubles, the second of which chased RailRiders starter Domingo German from the game. Austin Meadows greeted reliever Justus Sheffield (Yankees' No. 1) with an RBI single through the left side.
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In the fourth, the Bulls pushed across three runs on one hit while sending eight batters to the plate.
McCarthy tallied the lone hit in the frame, delivering a bases-clearing double down the right field line against Sheffield for his third extra-base hit in as many at-bats. Before McCarthy's hit, Durham had loaded the bases against Sheffield via a pair of hit-by-pitches and an infield error.
Durham starter Kyle Bird pitched around traffic on the basepaths in each of the first two innings but escaped both frames unscathed. Ruben Alaniz earned the win out of the bullpen, tossing two hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts.
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Rays No. 24 prospectColin Poche, one of the Minors' top relievers in 2018, racked up three swinging strikeouts in a perfect fifth inning. He fanned the first four batters he faced before surrendering a double followed by a booming two-run homer in the sixth to Mike Ford, who also took Poche deep in Game 2. Poche ultimately threw 36 pitches while recording all six outs via the strikeout in the outing.
Jordan Harrison relieved Poche and tossed a perfect seventh inning, and Austin Pruitt struck out two over the final two frames to seal the victory.
MILB Video - Title: Pruitt seals championship with K - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2490250283
McCarthy paced the Bulls' offense by going 3-for-5 as he finished the series with a .316 average. Austin Meadows also collected multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a steal, and Nathaniel Lowe (Rays' No. 13) tallied three walks.
Durham will play the winner of the Pacific Coast League championship series (Memphis vs. Fresno) in the Triple-A National Championship on Tuesday night.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.