Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights bullpen can’t hold late leads against red-hot Columbus

Colin Cowgill’s single in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday gave the Columbus Clippers to a 5-4 Class AAA International League baseball victory over Charlotte in the finale of the three-game series from Huntington Park.

Danny Hayes had doubled home Daniel Fields to give the Knights a 4-3 advantage in the top of the ninth. .

So with Charlotte leading, Brad Goldberg (0-1) was called on to close the door. The first batter up in the Columbus ninth was Eric Stamets, who was hit by a pitch. Stamets quickly scored the tying run on a Michael Martinez triple. With the score knotted, Cowgill stepped to the plate. On a 3-0 pitch from Goldberg, Cowgill’s single to right drove Martinez home from third for the winning run.

Right-hander Austin Adams (2-0) got the win despite allowing one run in the ninth, and the Clippers ran their winning streak to eight straight. In fact, Columbus won all eight games on its homestand.

The loss spoiled a solid outing from Charlotte starter Chris Volstad, who allowed just two runs on eight hits over six innings. Volstad left the game with a 3-2 lead. Reliever Blake Smith allowed a run in the seventh on a Giovanny Urshela single, which tied the score.

Offensively, Tim Anderson, Andy Parrino, and Omar Narvaez each had two hits on the afternoon for the Knights. Anderson has 17 hits in 16 games this year.

The Knights will head back to uptown Charlotte to open a six-game homestand at 7:05 p.m. Friday against Toledo.