(BUFFALO, NY) - Trailing on three separate occasions, the Charlotte Knights came back to tie the game each time before taking a lead in extra innings and holding on for a 9-7 win over the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night in the opener of their four-game series at Sahlen Field.
With the score tied 7-7 in the 10th inning, former Buffalo Bisons infielder Ryan Goins made his presence felt in his old home ballpark with a towering two-run home run over the right field fence to give the Knights a 9-7 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, another former Bison, Jimmy Cordero (W, 4-1), retired his old teammates in order to finish the win for Charlotte.
The Knights were able to extend the game by erasing multiple deficits in the late innings of the game. Down 5-2 in the sixth, Matt Skole led off the inning with a double and Adam Engel singled to put runners on the corners. The next hitter, Yermin Mercedes, tied the game at 5-5 with three-run homer to left, his sixth with the Knights.
The Bisons got the lead back in the bottom of the sixth with a run off Knights reliever Jordan Guerrero. The Knights retied the game in the seventh on Skole's RBI single to score Alcides Escobar.
Again, the Bisons jumped ahead with a run in the bottom of the seventh against Knights righty Zach Thompson. However, Danny Mendick's two-out RBI single to center scored Paulo Orlando to even the score at 7-7 in the eighth.
From there, Thompson held the Bisons scoreless in the eighth and Cordero did the same in the ninth to force extra innings. Goins' game winning home run was his 10th of the season to set a new career-high, topping the nine he hit with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017.
For the Knights, leadoff hitter Luis Robert went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases in his fifth Triple-A game while Skole went 3-for-3 with two RBI. All nine Knights starters recorded at least one hit in the win while eight of nine scored a run.
Starting pitcher Kyle Kubat gave up five earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Cordero threw 2.0 scoreless innings to earn the win, his 13th scoreless outing in 14 appearances for Charlotte.
The Knights and Bisons continue their series on Tuesday night. Donny Roach (2-4, 9.29) is scheduled to start for the Knights. Pregame coverage of the 7:05 p.m. game is set for 6:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.