Knights Knotes After Game One…
Undefeated: For the second straight season, the Knights have started by winning their opener against Norfolk after last night’s 6-5 win. In fact, last season, the Knights swept the Tides in a four-game series. The Knights began the 2011 season by winning their first five games.
Josh Phegley: Phegley went 3-4 at the plate on Friday with a run scored and a double. Phegley hit a combined .242-9-56 last season between Birmingham and Charlotte. The Indiana native was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (38th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He was named Indiana’s Mr. Baseball by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2006 after hitting .592 with 13 home runs, 16 doubles and 50 RBIs.
Tyler Kuhn: Kuhn went 2-4 with a double and an RBI on Friday. Last season, Kuhn hit .297 in 23 games for the Knights. He was an MiLB organizational All-Star last season. He really excelled at Birmingham in 2011, where he posted a .341 mark with one home run, 55 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases.
Debut: Charlie Shirek (1-0, 7.20) won his Triple-A debut on Friday and struck-out a career-high eight batters. The North Dakota native was perfect into the fourth inning, retiring the first 10 batters he faced. Shirek, 26, allowed four runs – all on home runs both in the fourth inning. He allowed a solo home run to Steve Tolleson and a three-run home run to Joe Mahoney.
Tonight’s Game One starter (Knights): RHP Dylan Axelrod makes his first start of the season tonight in game one. Axelrod, 26, posted a 6-1 mark with a 2.27 ERA last season in 15 starts for the Knights. Axelrod began the year in Birmingham and went 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 games (9 starts). He also made his Major League debut and in three starts (four games) went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA.
Tonight’s Game One starter (Tides): RHP Chris Tillman gets the nod for the Tides in game two of the four-game series and the first of Saturday’s doubleheader. Tillman, 24, went 3-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 15 starts for the Tides a season ago. The California native also made 13 starts for the Orioles last season and posted a 3-5 record with a 5.52 ERA. In parts of three seasons, Tillman has seven wins at the Major League level. Overall, Tillman is 7-15 with a 5.58 ERA over 36 starts.
Tonight’s Game Two starter (Knights): TBA
Tonight’s Game Two starter (Tides): RHP Steve Johnson, a Baltimore native, takes the hill for the Tides in game two. Johnson was 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts last season for Double-A Bowie. Johnson struck-out 59 batters in 58.1 innings for the Baysox. For Norfolk, Johnson posted a 2-7 record with a 5.56 ERA over 17 starts. In all, 6’1” righty went 7-8 with a 4.20 ERA last season (Bowie and Norfolk combined). Johnson is the son of former Orioles pitcher and current broadcaster for MASN, Dave Johnson.