Durham, NC August 26, 2013 – The Charlotte Knights continued their hot streak on Monday night in Durham as they beat the Durham Bulls by a score of 4-3 in the opening game of their two-game series from Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The win was Charlotte’s third straight.
Charlie Leesman (4-3, 3.87) earned his fourth win of the season after allowing three runs on three hits over six innings. The Ohio native walked three and struck out four.
The Knights jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning against Durham’s starter Merrill Kelly (8-4, 3.10), who was charged with the loss. Kelly allowed a double to Marcus Semien to begin the game. Blake Tekotte then followed with an RBI single to give Charlotte a quick 1-0 lead.
One inning later, Jim Gallagher led the second inning off with a ground-rule double. Two batters later, Bryan Anderson doubled home Gallagher to make it a 2-0 Knights lead. Charlotte had three doubles over the first two innings of Monday’s game.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the first place Bulls battled back and pushed across three runs against Leesman and the Knights. Leesman allowed the first three batters in the inning to reach base, which then loaded the bases with no outs. Mike Fontenot then struck out for the first out of the inning, but Ryan Roberts followed with a three-run double to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead at that point.
Charlotte fought back in the top of the fifth inning and took a one-run lead (4-3) thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles from Travis Ishikawa and Andy Wilkins.
In all, the Knights as a team had a season-high six doubles on the night. Wilkins had two, while Anderson, Ishikawa, Semien, and Gallagher had one each. The double for Gallagher was the 67th of his Knights career, which moved him into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time franchise list. He began the game in a tie for fifth place with former Knights slugger Josh Fields.
Relievers Simon Castro and Deunte Heath came up big over the final three innings. Castro did not allow a run over two innings, while Heath tossed a scoreless ninth for his fourth save of the year.
The two teams will conclude their series on Tuesday from Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Knights will send RHP Nick McCully (2-3, 6.32) to the hill in the finale against Durham’s RHP Matt Buschmann (7-1, 2.83). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.