LOUISVILLE, Ky. An RBI double by Carlos Sanchez in the top of the 10th inning led the Charlotte Knights to a come-from-behind 5-2 win over the Louisville Bats on Friday in the opening game of their four-day, five game series.
The win was Charlotte’s fifth straight, tying their season-high.
It was a memorable day at the plate for Sanchez, who went 3-for-5 and kept Charlotte’s hopes alive with a game-tying RBI single in the top of the eighth.
The Knights were down 1-0 as they began the top of the seventh. Louisville starter Scott Diamond was sharp over the first six innings, not allowing a run to the best offense in the league. Andy Wilkins, the hottest hitter of them all, launched his International League leading 26th home run of the season to tie the game at 1. The home run was his 10th over his last nine games.
RHP Shawn Hill started for the Knights and was also sharp over six innings. Hill, who made his first start since July 10, allowed one run on eight hits over six innings and did not factor in the decision.
In the seventh, the Knights went to reliever Donnie Veal. Veal gave up an RBI single to former Knights infielder Jason Bourgeois, which gave the Bats a 2-1 lead. The Louisville lead didn’t last long as Sanchez came through an inning later to tie the game at 2.
The Knights’ offense ignited in the top of the 10th inning. Sanchez opened with his double, Josh Phegley continued it with a sacrifice fly RBI, and Wilkins capped it off with an RBI single for a three-run 10th inning.
Maikel Cleto (3-0, 6.47) struck out five over 2 2/3 innings and held on in the 10th to earn the win.
Wilkins finished the night 3-for-5 with the home run and two more RBIs. He’s the IL leader in home runs (26) and RBIs (70). He has a 10-game hitting streak including 24 hits.
Phegley’s streak ended at 17 games, the third longest in franchise history. Jordan Danks added a hit and is five hits away from tying Joe Borchard for first in franchise history.
Charlotte and Louisville will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. Both games are scheduled for seven innings.
Hagerstown 5, Kannapolis 1: Lucas Giolito, the Washington Nationals top prospect, retired 18 straight Intimidators and struck out seven over six scoreless innings for the host Suns.
John Wooten, who played at East Carolina, opened the Suns' attack with a 2-out home run in the first inning.
West Virginia 6, Hickory 1: The host Crawdads were 9-0 against West Virginia Power this season, but couldn’t complete the sweep.
The difference came down to men left on base, as the Crawdads stranded seven base runners (four in scoring position) while the Power hung only two out to dry.
KNIGHTS 5, BATS 2
DP–(Hill, S-Sanchez, C-Wilkins); (Hill, S-Sanchez, C-Wilkins). LOB–Charlotte 8, Louisville 9. 2B–Johnson, Mica (7, Diamond), Sanchez, C (17, Ramirez, El); Neal (13, Hill, S), Navarro, R 2 (12, Hill, S, Veal), Murphy (1, Hill, S). HR—Wilkins (26, 7th inning off Diamond, 0 on, 2 out). SF–Phegley. SB–Sanchez, C 2 (16, 2nd base off Diamond/Anderson, B, 3rd base off Diamond/Anderson, B).
|Cleto W, 3-0||22/3||1||0||0||0||5|
|Ramirez L, 2-3||11/3||1||3||3||3||1|
WP-Freeman, J. T-3:18. A-12,813.
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