A Walk-off Walk
By Mike Franz
The Norfolk Tides squared off against the Charlotte Knights. Luckily, Norfolk was not hit with the storms that plagued the greater Maryland area and caused some Orioles Minor League affiliates to postpone their games.
Norfolk’s Thursday night game ended in a walk-off fashion. In the beginning, it looked as though the Tides were going to run away with the game after RBI singles from Steve Lombardozzi and Quintin Berry put the home team up 3-0 in the bottom of the second.
However, Charlotte started to chip away at Norfolk’s lead in the top of the sixth inning when a bases loaded, one out walk pushed across the Knights’ first run of the game. Charlotte proceeded to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning after two Charlotte RBI singles knotted things up at three.
With the score tied in the ninth inning, Norfolk’s Preston Guilmet sat the Charlotte bats down in order and Norfolk had the chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Tides got things started off right in the bottom of the inning, as Ivan De Jesus hit a lead-off, line drive single. The following batter, Cord Phelps, hit De Jesus over to second with a sacrifice bunt. In order to try for a double play to end the inning, Charlotte intentionally walked Lombardozzi. Julio Borbon did not allow the Knights to turn two as he hit a line drive single to left field.
Now with the bases loaded, Norfolk’s Berry stepped up to the plate. After taking ball one, Berry swung and missed on a pitch up in the strike zone. After that though, Berry showed great patience and looked at balls two and three. Now in a hitter’s count, Berry got the sign to look in the following pitch. This was the right call as the pitch was called for ball four, scoring the winning run in the process.
The walk-off walk earned Norfolk their 35th win of the season. The Tides now travel to Charlotte to play two games against the Knights.