Press release provided by the Charlotte Knights
(DURHAM, NC) – In a tightly-contested game throughout, the Charlotte Knights couldn’t find the clutch hit they needed with the game on the line in a 3-2 loss to the Durham Bulls on Wednesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Down 3-2 in the ninth, the Knights put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with walks from Paulo Orlando and Ivan De Jesus Jr. With two outs, Adam Engel then reached on an infield single to load the bases. The next hitter, Trey Michalczewski, found off three straight pitches to stay alive, but ultimately struck out on the eighth pitch of the at-bat to end the game.
The Bulls began the night’s scoring on Dalton Kelly’s solo home run in the bottom of the third against Knights starter Odrisamer Despaigne. That would be all the veteran right-hander would give up.
Over 6.0 strong innings on the mound, Despaigne gave up just the one run on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Knights got Despaigne off the hook in the sixth when Alcides Escobar came home to score on Yermin Mercedes’ sacrifice fly. An inning later, Ryan Goins’ solo home run to left, his eighth of the season, put the Knights in front 2-1 with two outs in the seventh.
However, the lead wouldn’t last for Charlotte. Before reliever Jordan Guerrero (L, 2-7) could record an out, back-to-back homers from Emilio Bonifacio and Jake Cronenworth put the Bulls in front, and that would be enough to win.
Connor Walsh kept the Knights deficit at one with a scoreless eighth, but the offense was unable to get the run back in the ninth.
Offensively, Matt Skole went 4-for-4 with a double and three singles for the Knights in the loss while Engel produced a pair of hits.
The Knights return home to begin a four-game series with the Norfolk Tides on Thursday night. Justin Nicolino (6-3, 4.65) is expected to get the Independence Day start for the Knights.