CHARLOTTE, NC - It took eleven innings, but the IronPigs got their first win in BB&T BallPark on Wednesday, ending a two-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Knights.
Game three of this series featured another great pitching matchup, as both starters have already made starts for their respective big league clubs this season. RHP Jonathan Pettibone hurled five and one-third innings for the Pigs, allowing two runs on four hits, including a stretch where the Californian retired eleven consecutive Knights.
Charlotte starter RHP Erik Johnson battled Pettibone pitch-for-pitch including a stretch of his own in which he retired ten consecutive batters. The White Sox top pitching prospect allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings while striking out four IronPigs.
The offensive heroics came from 2B Reid Brignac in the eleventh inning, when he broke a 2-2 tie with a solo shot over the right field wall. The homerun snapped a four-inning scoring drought for both teams and a 65 at-bat homerless streak for the Louisiana native.
RHP Luis Garcia then came on in the bottom of the eleventh and closed out the Knights, earning his sixth save of 2014. The scoreless inning makes twenty and two-thirds consecutive without an earned run for the 27-year-old righty.
Garcia's outing capped off a fabulous performance by the IronPIgs bullpen, which spun five and two-thirds scoreless innings collectively. RHP Justin De Fratus relieved Pettibone with two on and one out and escaped brilliantly using one pitch to produce a double-play. The Oxnard, CA native would throw one more inning, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out two in two and two-thirds innings.
RHP Seth Rosin followed De Fratus, spinning two perfect innings and getting credit for the win; the first of his IronPigs career.
OF Tyler Henson was the only IronPig with a multi-hit effort on Wednesday, going two-for-five with a double. Henson would give Lehigh Valley a 2-1 lead in the 6th inning when he scored on a Brignac sacrifice fly. OF Tyson Gillies - who had missed the previous four games with a shoulder injury - got the scoring started when he laced an RBI double to right field in the second inning.
Manager Dave Brundage and his IronPigs club (16-16) will attempt to earn a series split by taking game four from the Knights on Thursday night, and will send RHP Brad Lincoln to the mound for his second start as an IronPig. Lincoln will be opposed by RHP Felipe Paulino who is with Charlotte (12-20) on major league rehab. First pitch is set for 7:05 at BB&T BallPark.