(Fort Mill, SC) - Zach Britton allowed one run on five hits over seven innings, Chris Snyder ripped a two-run home run, and the Norfolk Tides beat the Charlotte Knights 4-1 on Wednesday in the opening game of their three-game series from Knights Stadium.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second inning when the Tides rallied for four runs against the Knights. Eric Thames ignited the offense with a one-out double. Jonathan Schoop then reached base on a Steve Tolleson fielding error, which gave the Tides two runners on base with just one out.
Two batters later, Zelous Wheeler broke open the game with a two-run double off Charlotte starter Zach Stewart (5-14, 4.46). With Norfolk ahead by a score of 2-0, Snyder followed with his two-run blast to give the Tides a 4-0 lead at that point.
Stewart was the hard-luck losing pitcher on the night. The Texas native tied a season-high by tossing eight innings in the opener - allowing four runs (all unearned) on six hits. He struck out six batters and set a new career-high in starts for a season with his 27th of the year. He is now tied for the International League lead in starts with Syracuse starter Danny Rosenbaum.
Offensively for the Knights, Mike McDade had two of Charlotte's five hits on the evening. McDade also drove home the only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single.
The Knights had three doubles on the night. Brent Morel doubled for the 28th time in 2013, which leads now leads the team. It was also his 56th career double with the Knights.
Reliever Leyson Septimo allowed two walks over a scoreless ninth inning for Charlotte.
Norfolk reliever Jairo Asencio notched his 26th save of the year after a scoreless ninth inning. Asencio struck out three batters in the final inning of the night.
The two teams will continue their series on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the Knights will send RHP Erik Johnson (3-1, 1.79) to the hill in the middle game of the series. The Tides will hand the ball to RHP Josh Stinson (7-5, 3.75). Thursday's game features the final Thirsty Thursday of the season with $1 sodas and $2 beers courtesy of Hickory Tavern. There are just five games left in Knights Stadium history. The Knights will conclude their 24-year run at Knights Stadium on Monday, September 2. First pitch of Monday's game is set for 2:15 p.m.