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Danks lifts Knights past Bats

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent

It’s one of those things in baseball that you can’t really explain, there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but anyone who watches the game enough will swear by it.

More times than not, the player who makes a spectacular defensive play to end an inning invariably will lead off the next. Ask around if you’re not familiar with the phenomenon.

It was Jordan Danks who did the honors Tuesday night in the Knights’ 9-8 win against the Louisville Bats in front of a group of 8,548 at BB&T BallPark.

The game was halted by a 1-hour, 17-minute rain delay.

With a run already home in the sixth inning and the potential tying run on first, Tucker Barnhart smacked a ball to dead center – exactly where you don’t want to hit a ball in Charlotte.

“It’s kind of a graveyard out there,” Danks said of center this week. “It’s probably one of the areas in the part that really does play true.”

As the ball traveled towards the triangle just below the batter’s eye adorned with the 400-foot sign, so too did 6-foot-4-inch Danks, gaining ground with each stride.

Danks pulled the ball in over his right shoulder as he hit the warning track.

He then made his way back to the dugout, grabbed his helmet, stepped to the plate and cracked his 11th home run of the season to put Charlotte ahead 4-2.

“It’s a one out of nine chance,” Knights manager Joel Skinner said with a chuckle. “That’s the odds. That’s something that people talk about, but that’s always my candid answer. Sometimes I’ll ask the players what the odds are and then say, ‘They’re one-in-nine.’ 

Following the delay, things got sloppy.

The Knights added two runs in what ended up being a two-hour sixth inning on a two-run shot off the bat of Matt Tuiasosopo, then they allowed four run in the seventh when Mitchell Boggs came on and allowed three hits and a while failing to retire a batter.

In the bottom half Charlotte regained a one-run lead, only to give it back in theeighth and then, once more, reclaim it in the next frame.

The winning hit came on a two-out RBI single by Carlos Sanchez that got past the right fielder and allowed Tyler Saladino to score from first.

“Give credit to Saladino,” Skinner said. “He kept his head down and gave (third base coach) Ryan (Newman) something to work with coming around third."

The teams combined to for 12 hits and 11 runs after the delay, before Ryan Kussmaul was able to retire the side in order in the ninth for his third save.

Charlotte finishedwith 13 hits, three each by Saladino (3-for-5) and Micahel Taylor (3-for-4, RBI).

“We just had good at-bats,” Saladino said. “That’s what it came down to.”

Knights 9, Bats 8

Louisvilleabrhbi
Bourgeois cf5111
Gotay 2b5232
Neal 1b4111
Lutz lf4031
Soto dh5001
Selsky rf4000
Barnhart c3100
Silverio 3b4110
Navarro ss3212
Totals378108

Charlotteabrhbi
Saladino ss5230
Sanchez 2b4011
Semien dh4000
Danks cf3111
Davidson 3b4120
Wilkins 1b2111
Tuiasosopo lf4112
Taylor rf4231
Gonzalez c4112
Totals349138

Louisville1000014208101
Charlotte01002312x9132

E — Taylor, Tuiasosopo, Selsky. LOB–Louisville 6, Charlotte 5. 2B–Davidson, Taylor. HR—Gotay, Gonzalez, Danks, Navarro, Tuiasosopo.

LouisvilleIPHRERBBSO
Smith51/364415
Russell11/333322
Dennick1/310000
Crabbe L,4-72/322200
Freeman1/311000

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Hill652214
Boggs034410
Fuentes W,1-2222211
Kussmaul S,3100001

HBP-Neal (by Hill). T-2:47 (1:18 delay). A-8,548.

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