CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After a rain delay of over an hour, the Indianapolis Indians (24-21) fell to the Charlotte Knights (18-29) in a ballgame full of speculation.
Tribe starting pitcher Nick Kingham pitched just one inning, pulled early to presumably head off to Pittsburgh for another big league promotion, leaving Indy in a precarious spot. Four relievers combined to limit the Knights to two runs on four hits in the final eight innings, but Charlotte prevailed with a narrow 2-1 victory.
Kingham gave up a leadoff single to Jacob May in the bottom of the first, but went back to the dugout with a scoreless start to the night. He did not come back out of that dugout, despite throwing only 11 first inning pitches.
Casey Sadler was thrust into action following Kingham’s unexpected departure, taking the mound in the bottom of the second. He turned in scoreless innings in the second and third, but the Knights struck in the fourth.
Indianapolis had just went on top in the top of the fourth, leading 1-0 after a Jordan Luplow double and run-scoring wild pitch, but Charlotte fired right back in their half of the frame. A fielding error began the inning, with Patrick Leonard‘s one-out triple tying the score at 1-1. Sadler did strike out the next batter he faced for out number two, but Mason Robbins singled to push the home team ahead.
They never looked back.
Sadler ended up pitching four innings in relief of Kingham, surrendering two runs (none earned) on three hits and a walk. Tanner Anderson, Josh Smoker and Dovydas Neverauskas each tossed one shutout inning each. Charlotte was slightly better.
Knights starter Carson Fulmer walked six batters, but struck out five over the course of five innings of one-run ball. Tyler Danish threw three scoreless innings behind Fulmer, giving up two hits and a walk. Lastly, Rob Scahill gave up a leadoff double in the ninth but put away the Tribe to secure his third save of 2018.
Alex McRae (1-4, 5.13 ERA) gets the ball for the Indians in Saturday’s contest. First pitch from Charlotte is slated for 7:04 p.m.