NORFOLK, VA-Charlotte's Tyler Saladino singled home a run in the top of the ninth inning, helping the Knights outlast the Tides 3-2 Saturday night at Harbor Park.With the score tied 2-2 in the ninth, Charlotte's Dan Black opened up the frame with a double off the right field wall. Blake Tekotte followed with a sacrifice bunt to move pinch-runner Alex Liddi to third, and Saladino followed by lining a single to center field off of Chris Jones (0-1) to give the Knights the one-run advantage.
The Tides nearly tied the score against reliever Zach Putnam (1-0) in the bottom half of the ninth. Caleb Joseph ignited the rally with a one-out single to right, and Cord Phelps followed with a single to left that advanced pinch-runner Quintin Berry to second. After Berry and Phelps executed a double steal, Putnam struck out David Adams for the second out of the frame, but Jemile Weeks followed by working a walk to load the bases for Julio Borbon. Putnam escaped the threat, however, as he caught Borbon looking at a 1-2 pitch, wrapping up the win for the Knights in game three of the four-game set.
The Tides had jumped out to a first inning lead on a sacrifice fly by Henry Urrutia, but Charlotte tied the score in the third on an RBI single by Carlos Sanchez. Norfolk took the lead again in the fourth on a solo home run by Chris Marrero, but the Knights tied the score once again in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Danks.
Joseph led the Tides offense with a double and three singles, while Phelps and Weeks each added two hits apiece. Marrero's home run was the first of the season for the Tides.
Tides starter Steve Johnson turned in a solid debut, as he allowed one run on three hits over three innings of work. Johnson, who did not make a start for Baltimore during the spring, struck out four and walked two while throwing 35 of his 55 pitches for strikes.