Bulls

On The Farm: Winston-Salem Wins Carolina League Playoff Opener

On The Farm: Winston-Salem Wins Carolina League Playoff Opener

Wednesday Sept. 8, 2010
Posted: 9:15 p.m.

By Kevin czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Finding a way to win at Winston-Salem hasnt been easy for Kinston and Wednesday night proved to be no different. The Dash opened up the Carolina League playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the Indians at BB&T Ballpark, once again exhibiting their dominance over the Tribe.

Winston-Salem improved to 10-1 at home against Kinston this season with the win. The lone victory the Indians had at BB&T Ballpark this season snapped a 17-game losing streak on the Dashs home turf. Then again, Winston-Salem was 47-22 at home this season, the second best home record in the minor leagues.

So when Jason Bours RBI single in the sixth inning snapped what had been a 2-2 tie, the Dash were only following the script they had been reading from all-season. Hector Santiago and Tyson Corley made the lead stand up, throwing 3 13 innings of shutout ball with Santiago earning the victory. Corley earned the save with a perfect ninth.

Terry Doyle started and allowed two runs on eight hits over 5 23 innings. He fanned a pair and walked three before turning things over to Santiago.

The Dash took a 2-1 first-inning lead on a Seth Loman fielders choice and an Ozzie Lewis RBI single. Kinston knotted things up in the sixth, setting the stage for what would be Bours game-winning hit in the bottom of the frame.

Lewis finished with two hits as did Andrew Garcia and Greg Paiml.

Great Falls Rookie
The Voyagers made it a clean sweep of division titles Wednesday evening, defeating Billings, 5-2, at Dehler Park to earn another Pioneer League Northern Division crown. Great Falls, which also won the first-half title, opens the best-of-three semifinal at wild-card winning Helena on Friday.

Great Falls scored four times in the eighth inning to break open what had been a scoreless game. Aided greatly by Billings, the Voyagers took advantage of an error and a wild pitch. They scored twice on a pair of bases-loaded walks, brought in another run on a Mike Earley single and closed out the frame when Drew Hayes uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Dusty Harvard to score.

Harvard finished with two RBIs while Earley had a pair of hits.

The eighth-inning outburst made a winner of Doug Murray, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Spencer Arroyo started and allowed one hit over six shutout innings in his second Pioneer League appearance. He had been 7-2 with a 2.49 ERA with Bristol before moving up last week. He has a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings with the Voyagers.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

David Haugh, Jordan Cornette, Shae Peppler join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Mark Schanowski joins SportsTalk Live to discuss Kris Dunn’s sprained MCL, Fred Hoiberg’s tough luck and Zach LaVine postgame criticisms of the coaching. Plus they’ll discuss another 0-3 team- LeBron’s Lakers.

20:00 – The panel discusses Mitchell Trubisky’s performance vs. the Patriots. Jordan makes the case that the media is giving the former No. 2 pick a pass.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

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USA TODAY

Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

Through the opening week of the NBA season, Hornets' All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and former Bull Niko Mirotic share the league scoring lead, averaging 33 points per game.

Bulls' fans have seen these hot stretches from Niko before, and chances are he'll start moving down to the mid to high-teens before long. But Walker is a big-time scorer who's quietly emerged as one of the most consistently productive point guards in a league loaded with stars at that position. He's averaged over 20 points and 5 assists in each of the last three seasons, making the Eastern Conference All-Star team twice.

Last season, Walker lit up the Bulls for 47 points in an overtime loss at the United Center in November, making some of the most difficult shots you can imagine to keep his team in the game. He seems to be as this best when facing the Bulls and you can bet Fred Hoiberg and his staff will pull out all the stops to try to slow him down, especially with defensive ace Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks after suffering a sprained left MCL in his season debut on Monday.

The Hornets made some personnel changes since last season. The one-year experiment with Dwight Howard at center is over. Howard put up solid numbers for Charlotte a year ago, but didn't make much difference in the win-loss column, so he's moved on to Washington in his NBA odyssey. Cody Zeller is now the starting center, backed up by Bismack Biyombo and former Benet Academy and University of Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky.

Charlotte tried to improve the athleticism on their roster by selecting Malik Monk and Miles Bridges in the first rounds of the last two drafts. Monk is getting more playing time this season, averaging 13.5 points in the Hornets' first four games. Bridges is averaging just under 16 minutes a game as a backup to starting forwards Marvin Williams and Nic Batum. Just like he did at Michigan State, Bridges is providing those highlight reel putback dunks, but it remains to be seen whether he'll develop a consistent enough outside shot to be a quality starter in the NBA.

The well-traveled Jeremy Lamb is now starting in the backcourt with Walker, and the Hornets brought in long-time Spurs' point guard Tony Parker to add some much needed experience and veteran savvy off the bench. Given the current state of the Eastern Conference (post-LeBron), it's not out of the question for this group to contend for one of the final playoff spots.

Here's what the Bulls need to do for a shot at their first win of the season. This also applies to the rematch in Charlotte on Friday.

1. CORRAL KEMBA. For whatever reason, seeing that Bulls' logo turns Walker into an almost unstoppable scoring machine. Walker is adept at working off his big men, either in straight pick and rolls or cutting through the post on give-and-go plays. He's one of the league's most creative scorers, and doesn't require much room to get his shot off. The Bulls' bigs will have to provide help on Walker whenever he comes off screens to keep him from taking over the game.

2. PUT THE BALL IN ZACH'S HANDS. Whether he's playing shooting guard or point guard, Zach LaVine needs to be the primary facilitator with Dunn sidelined. LaVine scored 34 points against Dallas Monday night on just 15 shots, which led to him questioning some of the offensive sets that were run in the 2nd half. LaVine told reporters on Tuesday that he smoothed things over with his head coach, explaining his comments were the result of the frustration he was feeling after a third-straight loss to open the season. Still, LaVine is on a major hot streak, joining Bulls' all-time greats Michael Jordan and Bob Love as the only players to start the year with three straight games scoring at least 30 points. The Bulls will need to ride that hot hand for as far as LaVine can carry them.

3. DEFEND THE 3-POINT LINE. You knew I would eventually get to this, right? Dallas made 15 of 47 3-point attempts on Monday after the Pistons knocked down 18 of 40 in a two-point win last Saturday. The Hornets have all kinds of capable 3-point shooters in Walker, Lamb, Monk, Batum and Williams (they're shooting .397 as a team on 3's), so guarding the arc will be crucial for the Bulls to have a chance at their first win.

Don’t forget you can catch Wednesday's game on NBC Sports Chicago and the new MyTeams by NBC sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 pm when Kendall Gill, Will Perdue and Kelly Crull join me for Bulls Pregame Live from the United Center Atrium. Neil Funk and Stacey King have the play-by-play call at 7 pm, then stay tuned after the final buzzer for Bulls Postgame Live and the always entertaining Bulls Outsiders.