Former Webster University All-American pitcher Josh Fleming picked up his first victory at the Triple-A level here Monday evening for the Durham Bulls in the Bulls 7-3 win over Charlotte at BB&T Ballpark.
Fleming, who was making his third start at the Triple-A level on Monday after being promoted from Double-A Montgomery on Aug. 13, tossed seven innings for the Bulls in their series opener with the Knights. The Bulls, who are the two-time defending Governors Cup champions, moved within three games of Charlotte in the International League wild card standings.
Against Charlotte, which was a must-win for the Bulls, Fleming allowed just five hits and two runs, including one earned run, while walking one and fanning two in his 92 pitch outing. The win was Fleming's first at the Triple-A level and 12th overall victory of the season.
With the win, Durham improved to 71-62 on the season, while Charlotte, who is the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, falls to 74-59. The Knights still hold a three game lead over Durham in the wild card race with six games to play, including two more with the Bulls.
Fleming opened the game by pitching three scoreless innings before Charlotte used two singles and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Luis Robert to score the Knights first run of the game. Robert's sacrifice fly dropped Durham's lead to 3-1.
In the seventh with Durham leading 4-1, the Knights would plate an unearned run thanks to an error by Durham third baseman Kean Wong. Wong's error allowed Ryan Cordell to score from first base after Cordell reached on a lead-off single. Fleming, though, would prevent further damage in the inning as he retired the next three Knights on groundouts to end the inning and preserve his team's 4-2 lead.
Fleming, who threw 57 strikes among his 92 pitches, would be replaced in the eighth by Peter Fairbanks and Fairbanks would toss the next two innings as he allowed two hits and one run, while striking out three and walking none.
For the 2019 season, Fleming 12-6 with a 3.48 ERA as he has made 24 appearances and 20 starts combined at the Double-A and Triple-A level. In 145 innings this season, the 6-foot-2 left-hander has allowed 144 hits, 67 runs, 56 earned runs, walked 24 and has struck out 105. In addition, he has a WHIP of 1.16 and opposing batters are hitting .258 against Fleming on the year.
In three starts for Durham, Fleming is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA. In 17.1 innings of work, he has allowed 17 hits, 10 runs, nine earned runs, while walking five and striking out 13. He has a 1.27 WHIP with Durham and opposing hitters are hitting .250 against him. The seven-inning performance against Charlotte was his longest outing with Durham.
Since beginning his professional career in 2017, Fleming has posted a 22-12 record and a 3.35 ERA in 55 appearances and 46 starts. He has thrown four career complete games, including tossing three this season at Double-A Montgomery and in 290.1 career innings, he has allowed 278 hits, 124 runs, 108 earned runs, struck out 211 and walked just 50 opposing hitters. He has a career WHIP of 1.13 and opposing hitters are hitting .251 against the southpaw.
Prior to his promotion to Durham, Fleming had posted an 11-4 with a 3.31 ERA with Montgomery of the Double-A Southern League. In 127.2 innings of work, Fleming has tossed three complete games and one shutout, while walking 19 and striking out 92 hitters for the Biscuits.
In his time with Montgomery this season, Fleming was named a mid-season All-Star in the Southern Division and was also named the league's Pitcher of the Week on July 28 after pitching back-to-back nine-inning complete games for the Biscuits.
Fleming began the 2019 season at Montgomery after a stellar year of professional baseball playing for Single-A for both Bowling Green (Ky.) and Port Charlotte (Fla.) in 2018. In 2018, Fleming went a combined 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA playing for both Low A Bowling Green and High A Charlotte last season.
The former D3Baseball.com Pitcher of the Year in 2017 began his professional in the summer of 2017 with the Rays Rookie League team in Princeton of the Appalachian League. At Princeton, Fleming went 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA as he appeared in 12 games and made nine starts. In 35 innings of work, Fleming allowed 42 hits, 23 runs (21 earned runs), while walking seven and striking 26 and posted a WHIP of 1.40.
STORY COURTESY OF WEBSTER UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION