Duane Evans, who had a .114 average with only one run batted in over the last three weeks, hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning tonight to lift the Lynchburg Mets to a 5-3 Carolina League victory over the Alexandria Dukes.
The Dukes, who return home Tuesday to play the Salem Redbirds, clinched the first half Northern Division title over the weekend without playing. Alexandria had four games at Lynchburg rained out and with first half play ending Thursday, there is not enough time to make up the games. The Dukes lead second-place Hagerstown by seven games.
Evans' homer, a 430-foot drive over the center field fence against Art Ray (2-3), broke a 3-3 tie. It was Evans' 10th home run of the season.
Trailing, 2-0, the Dukes tied the game on solo home runs by Jim Felt, his third, in the third and Nick Castaneda, his sixth, in the fourth. Alexandria took the lead in the sixth when Ken Ford walked and Felt singled. When Felt's hit eluded left fielder Darry Denby, Ford scored.
Lynchburg tied it when John Raeside singled in the seventh and scored on an error by left fielder Ford, who misplayed Herman Winningham's line drive.