(LOUISVILLE, KY) -- The Charlotte Knights completed Saturday’s suspended game with a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Louisville Bats on Sunday afternoon from Louisville Slugger Field. The Knights later dropped the regularly scheduled contest to the Bats by score of 5-4 in 10 innings. In each of the two games, the winning team scored a run in the final inning of play.
Infielder Danny Mendick led the way in Saturday’s game with a two-run home run, his seventh of the season. The Knights also used the long ball in Sunday’s originally scheduled affair -- getting solo home runs from right fielder Daniel Palka (fourth inning) and first baseman Matt Skole (fifth inning). The Knights are now second overall in the International League this season with 48 home runs.
On Saturday, the Knights led the Bats by a score of 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning when rain intensified and the game was suspended until 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. When play officially resumed -- at 1:01 p.m. on Sunday after a rain delay -- the Bats eventually added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 5-5.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Knights quickly loaded the bases and scored the go-ahead run when shortstop Alcides Escobar crossed the plate on an error by Louisville third baseman Christian Colón. Charlotte RHP José Ruiz struck-out two batters in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first save of the season. RHP Matt Foster (1-0, 1.13) earned the win for the Knights out of the bullpen.
In Sunday’s originally scheduled matchup, the two teams battled into extra innings with the Bats finally coming out ahead. In the bottom of the 10th with the two teams tied at 6-6, Charlotte RHP Thyago Vieira (2-1, 4.05) allowed a bases-loaded walk to Stuart Turner, which scored Phillip Ervin for the game-winning run. Vieira walked three batters in the final frame and was saddled with the loss.
LHP Justin Nicolino made his second start of the season with the Knights and allowed two runs on seven hits over five innings of work. Nicolino, who also struck-out five batters, did not factor in the decision of Sunday’s originally scheduled game. Offensively, second baseman Ryan Goins had two of Charlotte’s eight hits, while Matt Skole hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season.
The Knights will now have an off day on Monday before opening an exciting six-game homestand from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte on Tuesday night. Pre-game radio coverage of Tuesday’s 7:04 p.m. game against the Rochester Red Wings is set for 6:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad and long-time radio broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call for all of the action.