Clippers take down Knights, 5-3
Columbus scored 5 runs despite only recording 6 hits on Saturday.
UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC - Carlos Moncrief broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run in the fifth inning, J.C. Ramirez was sharp out of the Columbus bullpen, and the Clippers beat the Charlotte Knights 5-3 on Saturday in the opening game of their four-game series from BB&T Ballpark. The game was played in front of 10,402 fans - the third largest crowd in BB&T Ballpark history. It was also the 17th sell-out crowd of the season.
The Clippers scored first on Saturday and did so in the third inning off Charlotte starter Dylan Axelrod (2-6, 5.02), who was saddled with the loss. A lead-off single by Moncrief started things in the third. Although Axelrod would then strikeout Ryan Rohlinger and get Audy Ciriaco to fly out, a wild pitch moved Moncrief to second with two outs. Jose Ramirez then came through with a RBI single to give the Clippers the lead 1-0. Ramirez, who stole a team record 38 bases in Double-A Akron last year, would then get caught stealing to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Blake Tekotte put the Knights on the board with a solo home run to make it a 1-1 ballgame at that point. It was his sixth home run of the season.
In the fifth, the Clippers were able to add two runs off the Moncrief home run, which made it a 3-1 ballgame. One inning later, Roberto Perez lined a two-run single to make it a 5-1 ballgame. That was all the Clippers would need.
The Knights would answer in the home half of the seventh after a lead-off single from Marcus Semien. Carlos Sanchez then doubled home Semien pulling the Knights to within three runs. Jordan Danks helped the Knights tack on one more run in the seventh with an RBI groundout. It was his seventh RBI in his last five games. That was all of the Knights in the opener.
Ramirez (1-0, 2.25) earned the win for the Clippers after throwing two shutout innings out of the bullpen in relief of starter Travis Banwart.
The Knights and Columbus Clippers will continue their series on Sunday at 2:05 PM. RHP Tommy Hanson (3-4, 5.00) gets the nod in game two on Sunday, while the Clippers will send RHP Gabriel Arias (1-2, 3.93) to the mound.
Pre-game radio coverage of Sunday's game starts at 1:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 730 AM and WRHI (94.3 FM and 1340 AM). Fans can also listen live online at www.charlotteknights.com. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad and Knights radio broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call for all of the action.
Sunday is "Animal Day" at BB&T Ballpark and the Knights will welcome WWE Hall-of-Fame wrestler George "the Animal" Steele to the ballpark to meet fans and sign autographs. Fans are also allowed to bring their dogs to the game and the Humane Society of York County will be on hand for Sunday's game. Single-game tickets for games during the inaugural 2014 season at BB&T Ballpark are available by phone at 704-357-8071, online at www.charlotteknights.com, or in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office.