Fort Mill, SC --- Jim Gallagher doubled home the tie-breaking run with two outs in the seventh inning to cap a Charlotte Knights' rally, claiming the series opener over the Durham Bulls 5-4 on Saturday night.
The Knights (3-7) trailed by two runs on two separate occasions, rallied to tie the game on the final pitch by Bulls starter Jake Orodizzi with Brent Morel drilling a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 4-4. In the seventh, Adam Liberatore (L, 0-1) permitted a leadoff single to Seth Loman, and after a sacrifice and a groundout, Gallagher guided a double inside the left field line to break the tie, putting the Knights up 5-4.
Jeff Gray (W, 1-1) and Ramon Troncoso (S, 1) shut down the Bulls without a hit over the final two innings to nail down Charlotte's 11th straight victory over the Bulls (7-3) at Knights Stadium.
Durham built the first of its two two-run leads in the early innings. Rich Thompson singled on the game's first pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Jason Bourgeois. The Bulls moved out 2-0 against Matt Zaleski in the second frame, with Cole Figueroa singling home Brandon Guyer, who reached on a hit by pitch and advanced on a single by Mike Fontenot.
Charlotte nicked up Bulls starter Jake Orodizzi with a sac fly in the second and a run scoring on a double play in the fourth.
However, the Bulls would reclaim the lead in the fifth on a Hak-Ju Lee's first Triple-A homer, over the right field wall. Leading 3-2 in the sixth, Leslie Anderson doubled to left field, with Chris Gimenez then getting hit by a pitch. Guyer singled up the middle to score Anderson, but after a pitching change to bring lefty David Purcey in the game, the Bulls inning fizzled. Fontenot laid down a sacrifice bunt but Purcey fanned Figueroa and Lee to end the threat.
In the Knights' sixth, Orodizzi allowed a one-out single, and was likely facing his last batter of the game, working to a 3-2 count against Brent Morel, who boomed a two-run homer to left-center to tie the game. Orodizzi, who fanned nine versus no walks, was the lifted.
The Bulls had 15 baserunners in the game, losing three on the bases with a caught stealing, a pickoff and a double play. Jason Bourgeois led the attack going 3-5.
The Bulls, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, look for the equalizer on Sunday afternoon at 2:15 PM ET with Alex Torres taking the mound against Jason Berken.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.