Late rally propels Knights to doubleheader sweep

Mountcastle homers in setback

Jesus Sucre extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single Friday night. (Les Treagus/Norfolk Tides)

By Norfolk Tides | June 28, 2019 10:16 PM

Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run home run, but Charlotte edged the Tides 4-3 in game two of a doubleheader Friday night at Harbor Park. The Knights also topped Norfolk in the opener, 10-3. 

The opener of the twinbill was the completion of a game that was originally suspended due to rain at Harbor Park on May 5th. Charlotte led that contest 5-3 in the fifth inning when play was resumed, and the game stayed that way until the ninth frame. The Knights broke open the contest on a two-run double by Paulo Orlando in the ninth, and Trey Michalczewski followed with a broken-bat three-run homer that gave the Knights a 10-3 cushion. 

Luis Ortiz took the loss, despite not appearing in the contest Friday. Ortiz had allowed five runs (one earned) over five innings when the game was originally played. Tyler Herb pitched the final four innings of Friday's opener, allowing five runs on seven hits over four innings of relief. Herb walked three and struck out four while throwing 49 of his 76 pitches for strikes. 

Three players currently with the Orioles - Anthony Santander, Chance Sisco and DJ Stewart - all had hits in the contest, with those stats to be retroactively added to their Norfolk season totals. 

In the nightcap, Charlotte plated two late runs to edge the Tides 4-3. 

Norfolk led the contest 3-2, but the Knights rallied against the bullpen to take the lead. Evan Phillips (0-1) allowed two baserunners to open the inning, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. gave Charlotte the lead with a two-out, two-run single off of Matt Wotherspoon. 

The offense was just enough for Knights starter Justin Nicolino (6-3), who went the distance in earning the victory. Nicolino needed just 88 pitches to navigate his seven frames, striking out two without walking a batter. 

Mountcastle's two-run homer highlighted Norfolk's six-hit attack, while Zach Vincej plated a run with a second inning double. Jesus Sucre singled and scored a run as he extended his hitting streak to nine games. 

Tweet from @NorfolkTides: On Copa de la Diversion night at Harbor Park, @ryanmountcastle had himself an oppo 🌮#MiLBesDivertido #TidalTown pic.twitter.com/Sjrp2x9MCF

Chandler Shepherd turned in a solid start for Norfolk, allowing two runs on six hits over five innings of work. He struck out five without walking a batter, throwing 65 of his 83 pitches for strikes. 

The Tides and Knights will continue their series Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Dan Straily is set to make his Tides debut and he'll be opposed by left-hander Kyle Kubat starting for Charlotte. 

Saturday is Wands and Wizards Night, and there will be postgame fireworks presented by Chartway Federal Credit Union. There will also be a pregame Battle of the Bravest softball game, with local fire departments playing softball beginning at 3:30 pm. Gates open at 3:00 pm.

Notes: Earlier Friday, pitchers Tayler Scott and Matt Wotherspoon were added to Norfolk's roster after each was optioned from Baltimore. RHP Pedro Araujo was transferred to Bowie, while LHP Luis Ysla was placed on the Injured List…Ryan Mountcastle's home run was his 14th of the season and extended his hitting streak to seven straight games…The Tides have played four doubleheaders this year, splitting one and being swept in three others. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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