When the Knights media department gets wind of a famous coach, media personality or athlete planning to attend a game at BB&T BallPark, it does its best to set up a half-inning interview during that night’s radio broadcast.
Those to grace the press box this season have included North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, as well as former Boston Red Sox coach Grady Little and Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells.
Even Michael Jordan has been spotted taking in a game.
With the half-inning general guideline for interviews, some will run short, especially if the Knights go down in order; while others can get pretty in depth if the bats get hot.
During Wednesday’s 12-4 win against the Louisville, Knights radio personality Michael Pacheco invited New York Jets punter Ryan Quigley, a South Carolina native, to the booth.
Charlotte was leading 5-1 through 21/2 innings when things got started. Eleven batters, two pitchers and seven runs later – equaling the Knights’ highest one-inning total all season – life stories had been exchanged.
The interview began as Jordan Danks ripped a double for his 400th hit with the Knights. It was the first of a string of six straight hits by Charlotte, which included Matt Davidson’s 13th home run of the season.
By the time Tyler Saladino was called out on strikes for the inning’s first out, Pacheco, who grew up in Massachusetts, had Quigley talking about his time at Boston College.
When Danks came to the plate for the second time in the third, Pacheco continued to plug along, even as the centerfielder knocked in two more with a broken-bat single up the middle.
When the inning came to an end, Pacheco read off the score, “Knights lead, two touchdowns, no extra points, to one,” and thanked Quigley, who genuinely seemed to have a nice time, for stopping by.
Charlotte pounded out 14 hits (after putting up 13 Tuesday) in support of Deunte Heath (4-1), who held Louisville to two runs over six innings, striking out seven.
Andy Wilkins led Charlotte with three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Marcus Semien (1-for-5) and Danks (2-for-5) each had three RBIs.
“Hitting’s definitely contagious,” said Wilkins, who is batting .303 with three home runs this month. “Sometimes we like to joke with the guy who makes an out in the long innings.
“I think there was one time earlier this season that I had the opportunity to make the first and third out of an inning. Thankfully, I didn’t. Innings like that are fun and they don’t happen too often, so when they do, you need to take advantage.”
All nine Knights starters Wednesday finished with at least one hit and a run scored.
With a win Thursday or Friday, the Knights would clinch two straight series victories for the first time this season.
As Pacheco walked into the common area of the press box, he laughed, “I was really starting to run out of things to ask.”
Kannapolis 12, Hickory 3: The visiting Intimidators broke the game open with a eight-run fifth inning. Trey Michalczewski finished the game 4-for-5 for Kannapolis, with a home run and two RBIs. Danny Hayes went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and also walked three times. Hickory issued 11 walks in the game.
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