FORT MILL, S.C. -- Emmanuel Burris singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning, and the Louisville Bats went on to beat the Charlotte Knights 8-7 on Tuesday in the opening game of a four-game series from Knights Stadium in Fort Mill. The loss snapped Charlotte’s two-game win-streak.
Louisville bashed 14 hits on eight runs for the game one win. Reliever Kevin Whelan (2-0, 2.93) earned the win after recording two outs. Closer Yohan Pino got the final two outs of the game for his third save of the season.
Charlotte received another solid day at the plate from catcher Josh Phegley. For the second-straight night, Phegley homered. His home run on Tuesday was his ninth of the season – tying a season-high. The Indiana native went 2-4 with the home run, two runs scored, and three RBIs. He raised his batting average to .330 on the season.
Spartanburg, SC native Steve Tolleson also contributed with a solid day at the plate. Tolleson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning tied the game at 3-3. He finished the night 1-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Knights starter Andre Rienzo allowed four runs (three earned) over five innings and did not factor in the decision. Rienzo left with the lead, but the Knights bullpen failed to hold on.
Jhan Carlos Marinez gave up three runs on five hits over two innings. David Purcey (0-1, 3.38) allowed the game-winning hit in the ninth and was charged with the loss.
The Knights will host the Bats in game two of their series on Wednesday. Gates open at 5:15 p.m. for the 7:15 p.m. game. RHP Simon Castro will start for the Knights, while the Bats will send RHP Daniel Corcino the mound. Before the game, members of the Carolina Panthers, led by coach Ron Rivera, will take batting practice and sign autographs for fans.