Pitching Powers Knights Past Stripers 2-1
(LAWRENCEVILLE, GA) - In a pitcher's duel throughout, the Charlotte Knights got the clutch hit they needed late in the game to beat the Gwinnett Stripers 2-1 in the opener of their three-game series on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.
In the second, the home team got on the board first as Travis Demeritte led off the frame with a triple off Knights starter Jordan Guerrero and came home to score on a ground out. But that would be all the Stripers could manage against the lefty.
Guerrero responded by striking out a pair in both the third and fourth innings to keep the deficit at 1-0. With a chance to double the lead in the sixth, the Stripers could not capitalize as Guerrero induced a fly out from Pedro Florimon to strand a runner of third to end his outing.
In his best start of the season, Guerrero gave up just the one run on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 6.0 innings. However, Gwinnett starter Bryse Wilson was equally sharp as the 1-0 Stripers lead stood until the seventh inning.
Daniel Palka led off the frame with a double to left. Two batters later, Matt Skole crushed Wilson's offering into the Charlotte bullpen in right field for a two-run homer, his team-leading 13th of the season, to propel the Knights in front 2-1.
The Charlotte bullpen made that stand up. Matt Tomshaw induced a double play in a scoreless seventh, and then struck out Andres Blanco to start the eighth. Carson Fulmer came in and quickly got the next two outs to keep the Knights in front after eight.
In the bottom of the ninth, Fulmer got two fly outs to start the frame, but back-to-back singles put the tying and winning runs on base. Fulmer rebounded to induce a ground out from Luis Marte to end the game and earn his first save of the season.
Offensively, Zack Collins recorded a pair of singles in the win while Skole's two-run homer proved to be decisive. On the mound, Guerrero (W, 2-4), Tomshaw, and Fulmer (S, 1) kept the Stripers from capitalizing when it mattered most, as the home team went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Charlotte and Gwinnett continue their three-game series from Coolray Field on Wednesday night. Colton Turner (2-1, 4.50) is scheduled to start for Charlotte. Pre-game radio coverage of the 7:05 p.m. game is set for 6:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
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