FORT MILL, S.C. – Tommy Manzella’s double in the sixth inning with the bases loaded was just what the Knights needed on Sunday.
With the Knights trailing by a score of 3-1, things started to fall into place in the sixth inning against Norfolk starter Jake Arrieta (3-3, 5.74) . Jim Gallagher got things started in the sixth with a leadoff single. Conor Jackson then doubled and Dan Johnson drew his league-leading 89th walk of the season. With the bases loaded, the Knights were ready to bust out in a big way.
Hector Gimenez was the first Knight to drive in a run in the inning and certainly not the last.
Gimenez came through with an infield single that scored Gallagher to make it a 3-2 game. Drew Garcia then drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 3-3. After Jared Mitchell struck-out for the first out of the inning, the Tides went to the bullpen and called on Pedro Viola to record two important outs. He too, could not do so.
Viola walked Tyler Saladino, which gave the Knights a 4-3 lead and then the flood gates opened. With the bases still loaded, it was Manzella’s turn. On the first pitch he saw from Viola, Manzella launched a three-run double over the head of center fielder Xavier Avery to give the Knights a 7-3 lead.
The Tides came back in the seventh inning to score three runs off of Charlotte reliever Daniel Moskos, but it was not enough to take the game back from the Knights.
LHP Charlie Leesman (10-9, 2.75) started and allowed three runs over six innings to earn his second-straight victory. Leesman allowed all three of his runs in the second inning and then settled down the rest of the way. His 10 wins are tied with teammate Charlie Shirek for the team lead.
The win was Charlotte’s 70th of the season and second in the series against the Tides. The two teams will conclude their series on Monday at Knights Stadium. LHP Hector Santiago will get the start for Charlotte, while Norfolk will send LHP Zach Britton to the hill. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. on Monday with first pitch set for 7:15 p.m.
The Knights will host "Support B.R.A.K.E.S Night with Kyle Busch" on Monday. Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, will be on-hand to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs for fans.