FORT MILL, S.C. -- Zach Stewart allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings, Deunte Heath and Donnie Veal kept the Bisons scoreless over the final two frames, and the Charlotte Knights shut out the Buffalo Bisons 3-0 on Monday in game three of the four-game series from Knights Stadium. Monday’s shutout was Charlotte’s third of the season. Buffalo had just three hits on the evening.
Stewart (5-9, 5.06) had his best start of the season. He walked just one batter and struck-out six en route to his fifth win of the season – tying Andre Rienzo for second on the team in wins. Stewart was efficient on the day – needing just 80 pitches to get through his seven innings.
Charlotte scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning and did so thanks to a sacrifice fly RBI from Steve Tolleson, which scored Tyler Greene from third base. Tolleson finished the game 1-2 with an RBI and extended his hit-streak to seven games.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Knights tacked on an insurance run and made it a 2-0 game. Greene singled with one out in the inning and then quickly stole second base to give the Knights a runner in scoring position. Jim Gallagher, Saturday’s hero, followed with an RBI double to give Charlotte the two-run lead. For Gallagher, he extended his hit-streak to eight games.
The Knights added one more run along the way and did so in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly from catcher Josh Phegley. Andy Wilkins followed with a single up the middle to keep his hit streak alive at eight games. The Charlotte newcomer has hit safely in every Triple-A game he’s played in for his career (eight games).
The Charlotte bullpen was superb over two scoreless innings. Reliever Deunte Heath struck-out one over a scoreless eighth inning, while Donnie Veal shut the door in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Buffalo starter Thad Weber (3-2, 1.98) allowed two runs over seven innings and was the hard-luck losing pitcher.
With the win, the Knights have taken two of the first three games in the series and will now have a chance for a series win in the finale.
The two teams will conclude their series on Tuesday with another 7:15 p.m. game. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and RHP Andre Rienzo (5-6, 5.06) will take the hill for Charlotte. The Bisons will hand the ball to RHP Dave Bush (7-6, 4.33).