Charlotte Knights’ left fielder Trayce Thompson wasn’t able to end the game on his first try, but he was given a second chance. And on Thursday night, he took advantage, hitting a walk-off single to give the Knights an 8-7 win.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Thompson stepped to the plate and hit a pop fly on the fourth pitch of his at-bat toward Columbus first baseman Audy Ciriaco. But Ciriaco misplayed the ball, and it landed in foul territory.
Two pitches later, with the Clippers outfield playing shallow, Thompson drove the ball to deep center to drive in the game-winning run for the Knights.
The hit was the third of the night for Thompson, who was responsible for Charlotte’s first runs of the game. In the bottom of the second inning, he lofted a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall to put the Knights up 2-0 on a two-run home run.
The lead Thompson manufactured held for a majority of the game, as Charlotte third baseman Matt Davidson and right fielder Jason Coats each had multi-run home runs to put the Knights up 7-1 after six innings.
But the Charlotte bullpen surrendered six runs, including four runs in the ninth inning, to set the stage for Thompson’s walk-off hit.
With the win, the Knights improve to 27-20 on the season. Charlotte holds a 1/2-game lead over the Norfolk Tides in the International League South standings. ... Charlotte first baseman Dan Black was reinstated from the Temporary Inactive List on Thursday and released by Chicago. He has agreed to terms with the South Korea KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization. He was batting .324 in 34 games with Charlotte. ... The Knights partnered with the Vs. Cancer Foundation on Thursday to hold “Clips for a Cause.” Fans could get a free hair cut with a donation to the foundation. Members of the Knights staff as well as starting pitcher Erik Johnson got their hair cut on the field prior to the game.
Charlotte will welcome former Knight Jordan Danks and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to BB&T BallPark for a three-game series starting on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The Knights will send RHP Brad Penny (3-3, 4.91) to the mound to face off against LHP Adam Morgan (0-4, 4.78). Danks split parts of five seasons with the Knights and is the franchise’s all-time leader in hits and games played.