FORT MILL, S.C. -- First baseman Brad Eldred tied the game with a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then singled in the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th as Charlotte went on to defeat Indianapolis 5-4 on Wednesday evening at Knights Stadium.
The Knights improve to 58-74 on the season and 32-32 at home, while the Indians fall to 62-70 overall and 27-37 on the road. Charlotte has now taken the first two games of the four-game series and evened the season series at three games apiece.
Eldred first provided some late inning heroics, when his International League leading 34th round-tripper of the season tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The 28-year-old then capped the evening with a game-winning walk-off single that plated CF Jerry Owens, who singled with two outs in the 11th.
RF David Cook sparked the Knights early offensive attack with a solo home run to left to lead-off the second and a double to left-center to begin the sixth. Following his double, Cook trotted home on another double by C Paul Phillips, before Phillips came around to score on the innings third two-bagger by 3B Fernando Cortez.
Owens (4-for-6, 1 R), Eldred (2-for-6, 1 R, 2 RBI), Cook (3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI), Phillips (2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI) and Cortez (2-for-5, 1 RBI) all turned in multi-hit performances for Charlotte.
Neither starter -- Indianapolis RHP Jimmy Barthmaier (5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO) or Charlotte RHP Charlie Haeger (6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO) -- figured in the decision.
RHP Ehren Wassermann (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO) picked up the win in relief to improve to 2-0 on the season, while RHP Mike MacDougal (2.0 IP, 1 BB, 3 SO) tossed two hitless innings out of the bullpen for the Knights.
Both bullpens were unable to hold onto leads as Indians RHP Evan Meek (1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) and RHP Franquelis Osoria (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) as well as Knights LHP Boone Logan (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 SO) each surrendered runs in their relief appearances.
Indianapolis RHP Jesse Chavez (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) took the loss to drop to 2-5 on the season.
The Tribe plated three runs in the opening frame on three walks, two errors and just one base hit.
Indianapolis quickly loaded the bases as SS Brian Bixler reached on a throwing error and LF Jose Bautista and C Ronny Paulino walked. 3B Neil Walker then roped a single up the middle to drive in Bixler and Bautista before Paulino trotted home on a second Charlotte throwing error.
The Indians only managed two hits over the next eight innings, until RF Ryan Mulhern put the Tribe ahead 4-3 with a solo long ball in the top of the ninth inning.
Walker (2-for-5, 2 RBI) was the only Indian to collect multiple hits.
Post-game quotes -- INF Neil Walker
(on former Indian Brad Eldred)
"(Brad) Eldred is an RBI machine. When he is locked in, like he is right now, you have to make quality pitches to him. Because when he gets the barrel on the ball it usually goes in the air and here at Knights Stadium it doesn't take much to get the ball out once it is in the air."
Charlotte Cuts Down Indianapolis, 5-4
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