PAWTUCKET – It only took two hours and nineteen minutes for the PawSox to push themselves to the brink of history with a 2-0 win over the Charlotte Knights in game two of the Governors’ Cup Championship series at McCoy Stadium on Wednesday.
The PawSox got an exceptional effort out of starter Zach Stewart who paced the shutout by holding the Knights scoreless through the first six innings, striking out four and allowing only four hits and a walk.
“He did a great job,” said Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler. “He minimized a couple of innings, kept the ball down and worked ahead [in the count]. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
“It was just one of those nights where the ball was coming out of my hand good,” said Stewart. “I had a good defense behind me and a good offense to go at their guys.”
His counterpart, Charlie Shirek was equally as good for the Knights, but gave up two run on the four hits he allowed in his seven innings of work, including a big fly to Dan Butler in the second that made all the difference.
“It was a very well-pitched game on both sides,” said Beyeler. “They’re going to pitch and we’re going to have the make the most of our opportunities. We did that tonight.”
Butler took a 2-1 offering over the Pawtucket bullpen in left field to put the PawSox up, 1-0, early. As fate would have it, it would be all the scoring that Pawtucket would need. It was also the tenth home run hit by the PawSox in six postseason games.
“Anytime you get an early run like that it’s going to help,” said Butler. “It was a good run.”
The only other run of the game was scored again by Butler, who hustled all the way home from first base on a Che-Hsuan Lin double to left-center in the fifth inning. It was Lin’s first hit of the postseason.
The rest was handled by the bullpen, with Pedro Beato, Alex Wilson and Jose De La Torre all contributing a scoreless inning to the effort.
“Those guys came in and pounded it,” said Butler of the relief corp. “They hit their spots real well. Those guys all throw hard and when they’re throwing the ball as well as they are right now, it’s very hard to hit.”
“It’s been a real good run,” said Stewart. “We got one more game to win and were focused on that right now and trying to get a championship.”
The remainder of the series shifts to Charlotte, with game three set for Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. Nelson Figueroa will start for Pawtucket while Charlotte counters with Matt Zaleski.
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