The Alexandria Dukes are one victory away from winning the Carolina League championship series in their first appearance in postseason play.
Last night at Four Mile Park, Rick Leggatt pitched a four-hitter and got 14 outs on ground balls to lead the Dukes to a 4-1 victory over the Durham Bulls. The victory gave Alexandria a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The third game will be played in Durham tonight at 7:30; the fourth and fifth games, if necessary, will be played Sunday and Monday nights.
Leggatt gave up a run on two hits in the second inning, then allowed only one runner to reach second base in the final seven innings. He struck out four and walked four.
That runner came in the eighth, when Leggatt walked Freddie Tiburcio and Rick Siriano after one out. With Jeff Zaske throwing in the bullpen, Leggatt retired Keith Hagman and Bryan Neal, the Bulls' third and fourth hitters, on fly outs to left.
"I was able to throw my changeup and curve for strikes and my fast ball naturally goes down," said Leggatt.
"They (the Bulls) are swinging the bats good, but it's hard for them to dig in when our pitchers change speeds. That's what I did well tonight."
Burk Goldthorn, who hit only two home runs during the regular season, hit a two-run homer off loser Brian Fisher in the Dukes' four-run second. Fisher, who early in the season struck out 17 Dukes and later tied a league record with 20 strikeouts in one game, retired the side in order in five of seven innings.
"I get mostly fast balls from him," Goldthorn said. "On the home run, I started to swing a little early and got the head of the bat out in front like I'm supposed to."