DURHAM, N.C. - The Durham Bulls missed out on a no-hitter Friday night, but settled for a walk-off 1-0 win over the Charlotte Knights at the DBAP in the opener of a three-game set.
Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Tim Beckham singled to centerfield and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Mike Fontenot. Mayo Acosta then followed with a double off the right-field wall, scoring Beckham and setting off a celebration in shallow centerfield.
On the mound neither starting pitcher allowed a hit, and both were long gone before the game was over. Charlotte's Andre Rienzo left with two outs in the fifth after walking five and throwing 88 pitches without allowing a hit while Durham's Nathan Karns went six, striking out 10 to move back into the IL lead, and walking five.
Cole Figueroa broke up Charlotte's (56-72) no-hit bid by greeting former Bull Frank de los Santos with a single in the fifth. The Durham bullpen carried the Bulls' (66-61) no-hit bid into the ninth, before Steve Geltz gave up a leadoff single to Josh Phegley, and both teams went to extras looking for the game's first run.
Durham's Cory Burns (1-0) struck out three and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eleventh to earn his first win in a Durham uniform, while Erik Surkamp (3-5) suffered the loss, allowing the winning run to score in the final frame.
The victory cut Durham's magic number to clinch the IL South to 10. Any combination of 10 Bulls wins and Norfolk losses will wrap up the second straight division crown for Durham.
The series continues Saturday at 7:05 p.m. when RHP Alex Colome (6-5, 3.65) starts for the Bulls against RHP Bobby Doran (4-1, 6.11) for the Knights.