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Charlotte Knights beat Norfolk Tides 6-3

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent

Marcus Semien went 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double in the third inning and Shawn Hill worked seven solid innings to lead the Charlotte Knights to a 6-3 win against Norfolk on Saturday and snap a string of three consecutive losses to the Tides.

Saturday’s game drew 10,219 fans to BB&T BallPark and set a new all-time attendance mark for the franchise, upping the season total to 432,448 and passing the previous mark of 429,132 set in 1993.

The Knights paid homage to the ’93 team – which included that year’s International League MVP, Jim Thome, as well as a young outfielder named Manny Ramirez – with a six-run outburst in the third inning.

Things started rolling when Michael Taylor reached first on a throwing error and didn’t stop until Taylor (0-for-2 in the inning) bounced to second base in his second trip to the plate that inning.

Following a Blake Tekotte walk, Micah Johnson – who led the Knights with three hits – laid down a bunt single to load the bases for Carlos Sanchez, who promptly singled to put Charlotte up 1-0.

Semien then broke the game wide open with a bases-clearing double to the gap in left center.

“It was just a fastball up in the zone,” said Semien, who entered the game in a 5-for-33 rut and hitting .183 on the season. “I was trying to get a good pitch that I could hit to the outfield, and I was lucky enough to have it fall in the gap.”

With so much focus on Semien learning to play the outfield as well as three different infield positions since his reassignment to Charlotte, it would be foolish to think there wouldn’t be some drop off at the plate, but on Saturday, the White Sox prospect didn’t make excuses.

“It’s not hard at all (to balance),” Semien said. “I feel blessed to be able to play all those positions because it means that I can be in the lineup every day, and it’s easier for my manager to put me in where ever he needs me.”

Josh Phegley tripled home Semien for the fifth run of the inning, and Andy Wilkins capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to bring in Josh Phegley.

After allowing eight runs on 10 hits over six innings in his previous start, Hill was encouraged by his seven-inning, seven-hit, two-strikeout performance.

“I’ve been searching, honestly for a little over a year, trying to get back to my old form,” said Hill, who improved to 3-3 since joining Charlotte last month.

“In between starts I finally found something with my arm action, just getting it up and not dragging,” added Hill, who reached 91 mph with his fastball on Saturday after topping out at 88 in his previous start.

Donnie Veal and Taylor Thompson combined to hold the Tides hitless over the game’s final two frames.

South Atlantic

Suns 3, Intimidators 1: Former Clemson star Spencer Kieboom hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning, and host Hagerstown was on its way to a victory against Kannapolis.

Sand Gnats 2, Crawdads 1: Yeixon Ruiz blasted a line-drive solo home run in the top of the sixth inning to lead Savannah past host Hickory.

KNIGHTS 6, TIDES 3

Norfolkabrhbi
Borbon cf4010
Berry lf3100
Clevenger c4120
Peguero rf4000
Britton 3b3111
Wallace 1b4000
Jesus 2b4011
Lombardozzi dh2001
Weeks ss3020
Totals31373

Charlotteabrhbi
Johnson 2b3120
Sanchez ss4111
Semien 3b4123
Phegley c4111
Davidson dh4000
Wilkins 1b3001
Tuiasosopo lf4010
Taylor rf3110
Tekotte cf2100
Totals31686

Norfolk000300000371
Charlotte00600000X682

E — Weeks, Semien, Hill. DP–Norfolk 1, Charlotte 3. LOB–Norfolk 4, Charlotte 4. 2B–Semien, Johnson, Taylor. 3B–Phegley. SF–Wilkins, Lombardozzi.

NorfolkIPHRERBBSO
Additon L 3-541/376416
Huntzinger 22/310001
Meek100001

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Hill W 3-3773222
Veal100001
Thompson S 6100001

T-2:36. A-10,219.

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