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Fletcher’s Clutch Single in Eighth Guides Stripers Past Knights

Dave Lezotte

Gwinnett Stripers


David Fletcher broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out RBI single scoring Forrest Wall as the Gwinnett Stripers (17-18) clipped the Charlotte Knights (14-21) 2-1 on Thursday night at Coolray Field. The win was Gwinnett’s third last-at-bat victory of the year.

 

Decisive Plays: J.P. Martinez lifted the Stripers to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run (3) to right field off Nick Nastrini. Darius Vines fired 6.0 four-hit frames to make that lead stand up entering the seventh. Brooks Wilson (W, 1-0) allowed a game-tying solo homer to Angelo Castellano in the seventh. In the eighth, Wall reached on a two-out infield single, stole second base, and scored on Fletcher’s liner through the right side. In the ninth, Jimmy Herget (S, 1) stranded the tying and go-ahead runs as he struck out two.

 

Key Contributors: Fletcher (1-for-4, RBI) and Martinez (1-for-4, homer, RBI) drove in both Gwinnett runs, while Castellano (1-for-4, homer, RBI) plated the only run for Charlotte. Vines turned in his team-leading third quality start (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO) in a no-decision.

 

Noteworthy: The Stripers improved to 8-4 in one-run games with the victory. Martinez’s first-inning clout was his first homer since March 30 at Jacksonville. Wall’s stolen base was the 55th of his Stripers career, leaving him two away from tying Matt Young (57 SB from 2009-11) for second place on the Gwinnett all-time steals list.

 

Next Game (Friday, May 10): Gwinnett vs. Charlotte, 7:05 p.m. ET at Coolray Field. Broadcast: 6:50 p.m. ET on MyCountry993.com and Bally Live. RHP Allan Winans (2-2, 3.33 ERA ) will start for Gwinnett against RHP Jonathan Cannon (0-1, 4.61 ERA) for Charlotte. Both teams will celebrate the history of the Negro Leagues as Gwinnett plays as the Atlanta Black Crackers and Charlotte plays as the Charlotte Black Hornets. It’s also Fireworks Friday.

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