Knights Power Past Mud Hens 6-5 Thursday
Five-Run Eighth Inning Propels Charlotte to Series Win over Toledo
(TOLEDO, OH) -- A five-run eighth inning -- highlighted by three key home runs -- propelled the Charlotte Knights to a 6-5 win over the Toledo Mud Hens on Thursday in the finale of their three-game series from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH. The Knights won two of the three games in the series and have now won four of their last six games overall.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Charlotte’s offense ignited. Outfielder Willy Garcia started the inning off with a double. First baseman Danny Hayes followed with a go-ahead two-run home run over the right field fence, which put the Knights ahead by a score of 3-1. The home run was the fourth of the season for Hayes and the offensive show for the Knights did not stop there.
Outfielder Rymer Liriano followed up the big two-run home run with a solo home run of his own to give the Knights a 4-1 lead at that point. Liriano’s home run was his second of the season. The Mud Hens quickly went to the bullpen and called on reliever Dustin Molleken to replace Daniel Stumpf (0-1, 5.63). The Knights still continued their offensive assault.
Shortstop Tyler Ladendorf singled off Molleken, which then set things up for outfielder Adam Engel, who ripped a two-run home run. At that point, the Knights possessed a 6-1 lead over the Mud Hens. The home run was Engel’s first of the season and it proved to be important as it gave Charlotte a five-run cushion in the finale.
The Mud Hens battled back in the bottom of the eighth inning. Reliever Giovanni Soto came on in relief of Matt Purke (1-0, 3.00) to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Soto loaded the bases with one out in the inning and then gave up a grand slam to Bryan Holaday, which pulled the ‘Hens to within one run (6-5). After Soto allowed a single to Jason Krizan, manager Mark Grudzielanek made a pitching change and called on Gregory Infante to get some much needed outs. Although he loaded the bases, he struck out Brendan Ryan and got Presley to fly out to end the inning and the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Infante returned to the mound and recorded the final three outs to seal the game and the victory. Infante tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning to earn his first save of the season. He lowered his ERA to 2.57 on the season.
RHP Tyler Danish started for the Knights and allowed just one run on three hits over five innings. The 22-year-old right-hander did not factor in the decision. He lowered his ERA to 1.96 on the year. RHP Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless sixth inning and has not allowed a run in each of his two appearances this season.
Offensively, Engel led the way with three hits and two RBIs. Second baseman Yoan Moncada, Chicago’s top prospect, finished the afternoon 2-for-5 with his fifth stolen base of the season. Third baseman Nicky Delmonico extended his hit streak to eight consecutive games. Liriano, Ladendorf, and Jason Bourgeois all had two hits apiece. The Knights tallied a total of 14 hits on the day.
The Knights will now head to Columbus, Ohio to open a three-game series against the Columbus Clippers on Friday night. Charlotte RHP Reynaldo Lopez (1-1, 4.87) gets the start against Columbus RHP Mike Clevinger (2-1, 0.76). Pre-game coverage radio begins at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN Charlotte (730 AM) and CharlotteKnights.com. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH.
Director of PR/Media Relations
324 S. Mint St
Charlotte, NC 28202