PAWTUCKET, R.I. -– Greg Golson didn’t start the game on Thursday--but he ended it.
A day after being named an International League All-Star, Golson was the hero on Thursday.
Golson ripped a two-out, opposite-field solo home run in the top of the 11th inning and the Charlotte Knights went on to beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 1-0 in 11 innings on Thursday in game three of their four-game series from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. The win was Charlotte’s third shutout of the road trip.
With the game knotted at 0-0 and in extra innings, Charlotte needed something big. With two outs in the 11th, they got what they needed. On a 2-2 pitch from reliever Will Latimer (0-2, 5.40), Golson crushed a home run over the right field wall and the Knights had a 1-0 lead. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal (3-1, 1.53), who came on to pitch the 10th inning, was back for the 11th. Veal threw two perfect frames and struck-out two batters to earn the victory.
Charlotte’s win was a big one as they gained a game on second place Norfolk, who lost in Columbus 6-3. The first place Knights now have a six-game lead over the Tides.
Charlotte starter Simon Castro, making just his second career start with the Knights, tossed seven shutout innings. He stuck-out nine batters and did not allow a walk. He did not factor in the decision.
Reliever Jhan Carlos Marinez came on in relief of Castro and was sharp over two innings. Marinez allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings and kept the Knights in game three.
Earlier in the day, reliever Leyson Septimo had his contract purchased by Chicago.
Charlotte (46-36) won the game with just three hits on the night. Pawtucket had just five.
The Knights and PawSox will conclude their series on Friday from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. RHP Deunte Heath will start for Charlotte while the PawSox will send RHP Doug Mathis to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.