LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The Charlotte Knights (37-40) collected seven straight hits in a six-run eighth inning to stun the Gwinnett Braves (33-43) 8-6 on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
Facing reliever Casey Kelly (BS, 1, L, 2-4), the Knights recorded a single, followed by two doubles including a two-run double by Jason Bourgeois, and then four more singles to turn a 5-2 deficit into an 8-5 lead.
Kelly was lifted after Matt Davidson’s RBI single tied the game at 5-5. Reliever Rob Wooten yielded a two-run single to Nicky Delmonico and a sacrifice fly to Leury Garcia before ending the inning.
The G-Braves had jumped on top 5-0 in the bottom of the first against Knights’ starter Chris Volstad. With one out, Ronnier Mustelier and Matt Tuiasosopo singled before Reid Brignac unloaded on a three-run home run to right. Four batters later, Matt Lipka laced a two-run triple into the left-center field gap, scoring Anthony Recker and Blake Lalli.
Mike Foltynewicz, beginning a rehab assignment with Gwinnett and pitching for the first time since a start with Atlanta on May 30, yielded just one single through 5.0 scoreless innings. He retired the first 10 batters of the game before Carlos Sanchez singled in the fourth. Foltynewicz threw 43 of his 65 pitches for strikes, walked none and struck out five.
Omar Narvaez greeted Kelly with a double in the sixth and scored on a ground out by Jacob May and Davidson led off the seventh with a double before scoring on a Garcia single as the Knights chipped away.
Ozzie Albies and Lalli each collected two of the G-Braves’ 11 hits on the night. Lalli led off the ninth with his first home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 8-6. Recker and Rio Ruiz each extended their hitting streaks, to 12 and 10 games respectively, and Brignac homered for the third time this year.
After yielding five runs in the first, Volstad settled down, allowing just three singles in the rest of his outing. He scattered eight hits over 6.0 innings, while walking one and striking out four.
Brad Goldberg (W, 1-3) gave up two hits and a walk in his 2.0 innings of relief, earning the win. Matt Lollis (S, 1) pitched the ninth to pick up his first save for Charlotte.
The G-Braves and Knights conclude the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Right-hander Lucas Harrell (1-1, 3.46) will start for Gwinnett against fellow righty Tyler Danish (0-1, 5.40) for Charlotte. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM at 1:35 p.m.
It’s another “Sunday Funday” presented by Georgia United Credit Union. Fans are welcome to play catch on the field before the game from 1:10-1:30 and fans 12-and-under can run the bases following the game. Tickets for the game are on sale now at the Coolray Field Ticket Office, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets to purchase.