CHARLOTTE, NC. - The Charlotte Knights (31-25) held off a ninth inning rally by the Gwinnett Stripers (34-24) for a 7-6 win Tuesday night in the second of the three-game series at BB&T Ballpark.
Scoring Recap: The Knights took the early lead by scoring a run off Kyle Wright in the bottom of the first and then four more off Wright in the second to take a 5-0 lead after two innings. However, an RBI double by Rafael Ortega off Dylan Cease in the top of the third cut the lead to 5-1 and a two-run homer to center by Sal Giardina (1) an inning later trimmed the lead to 5-3. The Stripers moved within one run of the lead in the seventh as Sean Kazmar Jr. lined a two out RBI single to left to make it 5-4. In the bottom of the seventh, Gwinnett reliever Wes Parsons gave up RBI singles to Adam Engel and Paulo Orlando to push the Charlotte lead to 7-4. The Stripers rallied in the top of the ninth when Jack Lopez stroked a two-RBI single to right off reliever Thyago Vieira to make it 7-6. Pedro Florimon, however, grounded out to second with the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end the game.
Stripers Stats: Wright (L, 3-3) went 4.0 innings with seven hits, five earned runs and five strikeouts. Parsons gave up two earned runs and five hits in 3.0 innings. Grant Dayton pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth with two strikeouts. At the plate, Giardina was 2-for-4 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs. Ortega went 2-for-4 with a double and a run.
Knights Stats: Cease (W, 5-2), a former standout at Milton High School in Georgia, tossed 5.0 innings with six hits and three earned runs while striking out five to earn the win. Matt Foster (H, 1) worked 1.0 scoreless inning. Jordan Stephens (H, 1) pitched 2.0 innings with two hits and one earned run. Vieira (S, 3) gave up two hits and two runs in the top of the ninth inning but hung on for the save.
Postgame Notes: Travis Demeritte had a single and a walk to increase his International League best on-base streak to 36 games dating back to April 24. The fourth inning homer by Giardina was the Stripers 101st of the season, tops in the International League.
Next Game (Wednesday, June 5): Gwinnett at Charlotte, 7:04 p.m. RHP Bryse Wilson (3-5, 3.92 ERA) will pitch for the Stripers vs. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3, 3.54 ERA) for the Knights. Radio Broadcast: 6:50 p.m. on 97.7 and 93.5 FM "The Other Side of the River."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.