FORT MILL, S.C. -- Jordan Danks has done just about everything for the Charlotte Knights over parts of four seasons. On Saturday, Danks was the "Knight" in shining armor.
Danks homered in the second inning, drove home the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning, and the Charlotte Knights walked-off with a 6-5 win over the Gwinnett Braves on Saturday at Knights Stadium in game two of the four-game series. The walk-off win was Charlotte's sixth of the year. Jim Gallagher had Charlotte's last two.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Danks got the Knights on the scoreboard with his sixth home run of the season. It was the 36th of his Knights career, which is good for 10th all-time in the team’s history. He is tied with Stefan Gartrell – a former Knight who is currently playing for Gwinnett.
Charlotte catcher Bryan Anderson had a solid day at the plate. With the team trailing 4-1, Anderson roped a two-run home run off Gwinnett starter Omar Poveda to pull the Knights within a run, 4-3. It was Anderson's seventh home run of the season.
Gwinnett tacked on a run in the seventh inning when Ernesto Mejia doubled home Tyler Pastornicky to make it a 5-3 ballgame. Charlotte battled back however.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, three straight singles ignited the Charlotte offense. Carlos Sanchez started it, Brent Morel continued it, and Travis Ishikawa singled home Charlotte’s fourth run of the game to make it 5-4. Mike McDade then followed with an RBI groundout to tie the game at 5-5.
The two teams continued to battle, but each team failed to score over the next three innings. In the 12th, Charlotte reliever Nick McCully (1-1, 22.50) allowed a hit and a walk, but was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run to Gwinnett.
In the bottom of the 12th, Sanchez led things off with a single and Morel followed with a sacrifice bunt. Gwinnett catcher Jose Yepez decided to throw to second base instead of first for the sure out, and Sanchez was safe on the play. Now, with two runners on and no outs, Ishikawa laid down another bunt. This time, Gwinnett recorded an out, but it put runners on second and third. McDade was then intentionally walked, which set things up for Danks to be the hero.
On a 1-2 count, Danks drove a ball to left field and Sanchez came around to score the game’s winning run to give the Knights their sixth walk-off win of the season. Danks finished the game 1-for-3 with the home run and two RBIs.
LHP Charlie Leesman started and allowed four runs (three earned) over six innings and did not factor in the decision. Leesman walked four batters and struck-out four. Leyson Septimo and Daniel Webb each threw two scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
Saturday's game lasted four hours and nine minutes.
The Knights and Braves will continue their series with game three of the four-game set on Sunday. Gates open at 1:00 p.m. and first pitch is set for 2:15 p.m. The first 1,000 kids 12 and under will receive a Knights picture frame courtesy of Carolinas HealthCare System.