Garabez Rosa's bases loaded single in the 11th inning gave Norfolk a 4-3 win over the Charlotte Knights Wednesday afternoon at Harbor Park.
With the game knotted at 3-3 in the 11th, Alex Presley began the inning as a runner on second base, part of Minor League Baseball's new extra-inning rule. Joey Rickard opened the frame by working a walk from Robbie Ross Jr. (0-1), and Jaycob Brugman moved each runner up a base with a groundout to second. After an intentional walk to Michael Saunders loaded the bases, Ross retired Andrew Susac on a shallow fly ball to right field for the second out of the inning. Rosa then followed with a sharp line drive to right that glanced off the glove of a leaping Daniel Palka, plating Presley with the winning run and giving Norfolk its second walk-off victory of the season.
The walk-off hit concluded a big game for Rosa, who also hit a solo homer in the fourth inning before singling in the sixth inning. Rosa, the 2017 Eastern League Most Valuable Player, became the first Tide to register three hits in a game this season.
Norfolk's pitching staff was outstanding, as the Tides racked up 16 strikeouts while allowing just seven hits. Jason Gurka (1-0) earned the win by striking out two in a scoreless inning of relief, capping a performance by the bullpen that saw four Tides relievers combine to allow one run over 7.0 innings.
Norfolk starter Tim Melville, making his first start of the season, did not factor in the decision after allowing two runs on three hits over four innings of work. Melville, who attended Deep Creek elementary and middle school in Chesapeake, struck out six and walked three while throwing 46 of his 75 pitches for strikes. He struck out the side in the first frame, but yielded a pair of runs in the fourth inning when Alfredo Gonzalez plated a run with an RBI single before later scoring on a wild pitch.
Susac got the Tides on the board in the first inning with an opposite-field, two-run double. He's now hit safely in each of the three games he's appeared in, batting .273 with a .385 on-base percentage.
With the win, Norfolk picked up its first series victory of the season and moved over the .500 mark with a 3-2 record. It's the first time the Tides have been above the .500 mark since the end of the 2015 season, when Norfolk captured the IL South title with a 78-66 record.
The Tides will open up their first road trip of the season on Thursday, as they head to Syracuse to take on the Chiefs in a 5:35 contest. Asher Wojciechowski (0-0, 0.00) is set to make the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by left-hander Tommy Milone (0-0, 5.06).
Notes: Prior to Wednesday's game, infielder Drew Dosch was placed on Norfolk's disabled list with a left hamstring injury (retro to April 10), with infielder Anderson Feliz promoted to the Tides from Bowie to take his roster spot…Prior to Baltimore's game, the Orioles announced that they had recalled IF Engelb Vielma from Norfolk to take the roster spot of RHP Hunter Harvey, who was optioned to Baltimore…Tanner Scott struck out three over two shutout innings in his first appearance with the Tides after being optioned from Baltimore...Donnie Hart struck out four batters over two hitless innings of relief.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.