Knights Survive Crazy Finish, Beat Mets 7-6
(SYRACUSE, NY) - With a pair of home runs, timely two-out offense, and a heroic defensive play in the bottom of the ninth, the Charlotte Knights held on to defeat the Syracuse Mets 7-6 on Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium in game two of their three-game series.
With the Knights holding a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had runners on the corners and one out for Danny Espinosa. The Syracuse third baseman lifted a fly ball to center. After Charlotte center fielder Adam Engel made the catch, Brandon Nimmo dashed home as the potential tying run. But Engel threw a perfect strike to home plate and catcher Zack Collins applied the tag on Nimmo to cut down the tying run at the plate, ending the game to finish a wild Knights win.
The Knights built their lead behind a rally in the top of the eighth. Paulo Orlando started it with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Collins walked. Alcides Escobar gave the Knights the lead with a two-out, two strike single to left, scoring Orlando with the go-ahead run. Collins then scored on a passed ball and Seby Zavala singled to center to score Escobar, giving Charlotte a 6-3 lead in the eighth. Ryan Goins' solo homer in the ninth, his fifth of the season, gave the Knights a 7-3 lead.
Charlotte would need all of the support they could get as reliever Carson Fulmer gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth. The Knights turned to Connor Walsh (S, 4), and he earned the save after Engel's defensive gem.
At the outset, the Knights quickly took the lead on Daniel Palka's solo home run, his 14th of the season, to start the top of the second inning. Jon Jay's RBI single in the third restored the Charlotte lead before Palka made it 3-1 Knights with a sacrifice fly.
The Mets tied the game 3-3 off Charlotte starter Ross Detwiler in the fifth, and that would remain the score until the eighth inning outburst from the Knights.
Over 6.0 innings, Detwiler gave up three earned runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. He did not factor in the final decision. Jordan Stephens (W, 3-4) would earn the win with 1.2 scoreless innings from the Charlotte bullpen.
Offensively, Orlando and Escobar recorded a pair of hits for the Knights while Palka drove in two runs.
Charlotte and Syracuse conclude their three-game series on Wednesday night. Colton Turner (3-3, 5.87) is scheduled to start for Charlotte. Pre-game radio coverage of the 6:35 p.m. game is set for 6:20 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
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