Press release provided by the Charlotte Knights
(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) -- Exciting. Thrilling. Exhilarating. Electrifying. Heroic.
In front of a sell-out crowd of 10,454 fans at BB&T Ballpark on Friday night, third baseman Alcides Escobar played the hero as he launched a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Charlotte Knights to a thrilling 9-6 victory over the Louisville Bats in the opening game of their two-day, three-game series.
Down by a score of 6-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Knights went to work. DH Matt Skole led the inning off with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Jacob Scavuzzo. With the tying run on first base, left fielder Paulo Orlando followed with a single to put the go-ahead run on first with no outs. First baseman Daniel Palka, who stepped to the plate with four RBIs on the night, roped a single to deep left field to load the bases for the Knights. Enter Alcides Escobar.
An 11-year major league veteran, who hit a key inside-the-park home run in game one of the 2015 World Series, stepped to the plate against RHP Jimmy Herget (1-4, 3.86) in the bottom of the ninth on Friday and delivered the game-winning blast over the left field fence. Escobar’s grand slam, Charlotte’s second of the 2019 season, led the Knights to their third-straight win. He finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored and the grand slam.
The Knights combined to record 13 hits on the night. Palka finished the game 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. The home run -- a three-run shot in the first inning-- was his 15th of the season. Chicago White Sox outfielder Jon Jay went 2-for-4 with two runs scored as he continued his MLB rehab assignment.
RHP Dylan Cease started for the Knights and allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits over 5.2 innings pitched. Cease, who is ranked as the third-best prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, fanned seven batters but did not factor in the decision. RHP Connor Walsh tossed 2.1 scoreless innings to keep the Bats at bay, while RHP Jimmy Cordero (2-1, 1.08) earned the win after a scoreless ninth inning.
The two teams will play a day/night doubleheader at BB&T Ballpark on Saturday with first pitch of game one on tap for 1:05 p.m. and game two at 7:04 p.m.