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G-Braves fall to Charlotte in extra innings

FORT MILL, S.C. – Charlotte’s Seth Loman continued his torrid hitting against the Gwinnett Braves in 2013 as his solo homer to right off of Andy Russell in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled the Knights over the G-Braves 9-8 at Knights Stadium on Thursday night.

The homer was a heartbreaker for the G-Braves, who had battled back from a 7-0 deficit to send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the ninth, trailing 8-7, Gwinnett (4-4) got some two-out clutch hitting to send the game to the extra frame. In that half inning, Corey Wimberly delivered a double off the wall in right and Tyler Pastornicky knocked him in from second with a double to left. It eventually sent the game to the 10th inning, where Loman’s heroics handed the G-Braves their fourth straight loss on the road trip, giving Charlotte (2-6) their second win of the season.

It was a rough night for Gwinnett starter David Hale. He gave up two runs in the first; one on a sac fly to center by Brent Morel, and the other on a solo homer to left center by Jordan Danks.

Charlotte collected five more runs off of Hale in the bottom of the fifth. Morel and Danks led off with back-to-back walks, and Tyler Greene singled to load the bases. Josh Phegley followed with a single to center, scoring Morel. Danks scored from third on a balk by Hale to increase the lead. After Loman was intentionally walked to load the bases, former G-Brave Luis Durango delivered a bases-clearing double, making it 7-0.

But the Braves' bats went to work off of Charlotte starter Andre Rienzo in the top of the fifth. Matt Pagnozzi and Todd Cunningham led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After a fielder’s choice by Alden Carrithers, Jordan Parraz drove in Pagnozzi from third on a ground ball to short, making it 7-1. Parraz then stole second and moved to third on a balk. Scott Kazmar then walked to put runners on first and third with two outs. Jose Constanza would plate both with a two-run double to deep left, cutting the lead to 7-3.

Charlotte added another run, as Josh Phegley hit a solo homer off of Hale in the bottom of the fifth.

The big inning for Gwinnett came in the top of the sixth, as Joe Terdoslavich hit a one-out homer to left off of Rienzo to make it 8-4. Pagnozzi and Cunningham followed with walks, while Carrithers loaded the bases with a single. Parraz hit into a force play at shortstop, scoring Pagnozzi to make it 8-5. Kazmar made it 8-6 with a single to right scoring Cunningham. Parraz moved to third on the hit and later scored on a wild pitch, cutting the lead to 8-7.

The Braves tied it up in the ninth, but eventually dropped the contest.

Ramon Troncoso (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th for the win. He gave up one hit and one walk. Rienzo, who was staked to a 7-0 lead, worked 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits, seven earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts, however, he did not factor in the decision.

Russell (0-2) suffered his second walk-off defeat of the road trip. He went 1.1 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run and one walk. Hale, in his second AAA start, went 4.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and eight earned runs. He walked four and struck out five.

It was another good night for the Gwinnett offense as it amassed 13 hits. Wimberly and Pastornicky each went 2-for-5. Cunningham was 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to five games. Parraz and Constanza each had two RBIs.

For Charlotte, Loman was 3-for-3 and Durango was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Mitchell, Phegley and Danks each had two hits.

The Braves and Charlotte play the finale of the two-game series Friday night at Knights Stadium. Tim Corcoran (1-0, 0.00) will pitch for Gwinnett, as he will match up against Simon Castro (0-1, 6.00).