Knights Walk Off with 9-8 Win in 11 Innings

(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) — Jason Coats already had a solid day at the plate. Then, he became the hero.

Coats poked a game-winning, walk-off single into the outfield in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead the Charlotte Knights to a 9-8 win over the Gwinnett Braves on Sunday in the finale of their two-game series from BB&T Ballpark. With the win, the Knights propelled back into first place in the International League South Division. Charlotte (23-22) holds a one-game lead over Gwinnett (22-23) in the standings.

A day after Saturday’s game took a total of five hours and 50 minutes to complete, the Knights and G-Braves battled into extra innings on Sunday. The 2:05 p.m. tilt, which started with both teams tied atop the IL South Division, featured a see-saw battle between the two division foes. Both teams belted out 15 hits on the day, but the Knights came on strong in the end.

Coats led the hit parade by going 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and five RBIs. A solo home run in the fifth inning was important for Charlotte, but it was his last hit in the 11th which led the Knights to their sixth walk-off win of the season.

With the game tied at 8-8 in the bottom of the 11th inning, J.B. Shuck singled to led off the frame for the Knights. With the winning run on base, Matt Davidson followed with a chance to play the hero. Davidson, who attempted to bunt, eventually drew a 3-2 walk. Shuck, who had already swiped second base — his fourth steal of the season – represented the winning run at second base. With two runners on and no outs, Travis Ishikawa dropped down a sacrifice bunt to push the runners to second and third. Coats then followed by ripping a single off Gwinnett reliever Brandon Cunniff (2-2, 6.86) for the game-winner.

Charlotte reliever Will Lamb (3-0, 4.07) earned the win out of the bullpen. Lamb, who allowed the game-tying runs in the top of the ninth inning, worked three innings for the victory. The Charlotte left-hander threw 54 pitches on the afternoon. Lamb was one of four Charlotte pitchers on Sunday. RHP Scott Carroll started and allowed two runs on seven hits over five innings. RHP Charlie Shirek, who was activated off the disabled list just before game time, made his 2016 season debut and allowed two runs on three hits over one inning of work. The North Dakota native last pitched for the Knights in 2012.

Shuck, who started the 11th inning rally, also had a terrific day at the plate. He went 4-for-6 with four runs scored, one triple, and one stolen base. The Ohio native has reached base in 17 consecutive home games and is hitting .300 on the season with Charlotte in 31 games.

The Knights welcomed 9,501 fans through the gates on Sunday and became the first team in Minor League Baseball this season to go over the 200,000 mark (207,264).

Courtesy: Charlotte Knights