July 4th in Gwinnett…
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (38-49– 2013) @ Gwinnett Braves (37-50– 2013)
Lawrenceville GA ~ Coolray Field – 7:05 PM (Game 1 of 2) (Game 88 of 143)
THU: CHA LHP Charlie Leesman (1-1, 3.55) @ GWN RHP Omar Poveda (5-5, 3.42)
The Charlotte Knights will open a quick-two game series with the Gwinnett Braves tonight at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA at 7:05 p.m. A night after completing a five-game homestand that saw the Knights go 2-3, Charlotte will look for their third win against the G-Braves this season in 11 tries. Their last matchup was on April 22nd. LHP Charlie Leesman gets the nod tonight and will look for his third win in five games against the G-Braves in his career. He went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four games last year against Gwinnett.
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Cole Figueroa ripped three hits and added two RBIs, Matt Buschmann was solid over six innings, and the Durham Bulls spoiled the Knights July 3rd celebration with a 5-1 win last night at Knights Stadium in the only game of their one-game series. Durham tacked on three runs over the final two innings to pull away for the victory. RHP Erik Johnson started for the Knights and left after three solid innings (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 SO).
LARGEST CROWD OF THE SEASON: The Charlotte Knights welcomed 11,359 fans to Knights Stadium last night for the team’s annual WBT Skyshow – which featured the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. It was just slightly higher than the team’s July 3rd game in 1995 at Knights Stadium (11,303). The highest attended game in Knights Stadium history was 15,591 on July 4, 2008. Yesterday’s game ranks 30th in Knights Stadium history.
SEASON FOR THE AGES: Catcher Josh Phegley supplied Charlotte’s only offense on Wednesday by jacking a second inning home run off of Durham starter Matt Buschmann. For Phegley, it was his 15th home run of the season – the most by a catcher in the IL. He’s hit a home run once every 15.40 at-bats this season (fifth-best percentage in the IL). Earlier in the day, Phegley learned that he was elected to his second-straight IL All-Star Team. Phegley was one of only two players (Greg Reynolds) who were a unanimous selection. The Indiana native currently leads all IL catchers in games (60), batting average (.316), home runs (15), RBIs (41), runs scored (39), hits (73), slugging percentage (.597), on-base percentage (.368), putouts (464), assists (48), and total chances (515).
NEWEST KNIGHTS: Earlier in the day, the Charlotte Knights added two players from Double-A Birmingham. RHP Jake Petricka and infielder Cody Puckett were both promoted to take the roster spots of infielder Brent Morel and reliever David Purcey, who both went to Chicago on Wednesday. Morel replaced Paul Konerko (DL) and Purcey, who had his contract purchased by the White Sox, replaced Jesse Crain (DL). Petricka was 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 21 games for the Barons this season. A product of Indiana State University, Petricka was a 2nd round pick of the White Sox in the 2010 draft. Puckett was hitting .268 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs for the Barons over 62 games. He hit .311 (19-61) with five home runs and 12 RBIs in June (18 G).
PUCKETT vs. GWINNETT: Cody Puckett returns to the International League today after spending time with the Louisville Bats last season (91 G). The California native hit .219 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs. He played in six games against the Gwinnett Braves last season while with the Bats and hit .318 (7-22) with six runs scored, two doubles, a home run, and four RBIs. His last home run against Gwinnett came on July 13, 2012 (a first inning blast off Yohan Flande).
STEVIE’S GOING STREAKING: Infielder Steve Tolleson has been on quite the tear recently and the South Carolina native has a nine-game hit streak to show for it. He’s hitting .303 (10-33) with three doubles and eight RBIs over that nine-game stretch (6/25-present).