Knights Knotes – Game 4 of 144
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Tyler Saladino’s go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the game-winner as the Charlotte Knights beat the Norfolk Tides 3-2 on Saturday in game three of their four-game series from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. Saladino, who also singled in the seventh inning and later came around to score the tying run, was Charlotte’s hero on Saturday. The win was Charlotte’s fourth over their last five games against Norfolk and seventh over their last 10 games with the Tides dating back to last season.
KNIGHTS VS. TIDES: The Knights went 10-11 last season against the Tides including a 5-5 record at Harbor Park. Since 1993, when the Knights joined the IL, the Knights have a 193-184 record overall against the Tides. At Harbor Park, the Knights are under .500 as the Tides have a 96-90 record against the Knights in Norfolk. The Knights as a team hit .244 last season against Norfolk and had 18 home runs and 94 RBIs in 21 games. Jordan Danks hit .271 last season against the Tides with one home run and four RBIs over 12 games. Deunte Heath did not allow a run in all five games he faced the Tides last season (7.2 IP).
THE TY GUY: Tyler Saladino’s game-winning ninth-inning single was the second big hit of the game for the young shortstop. Saladino, who singled in the seventh inning to ignite the offense when the team was trailing 2-1 — and later came around to score the tying run — went 2-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Saladino has a hit in each of his two games this season and is 3-for-6 on the year with two runs scored and a double. Last season with Double-A Birmingham, Saldino had 26 multi-hit games.
ZACH ATTACK: Reliever Zach Putnam earned his first win of the season in last night’s game after a two-inning scoreless performance. The Charlotte reliever came on to start the eighth inning and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the ninth, Putnam got into a bit of a jam – loading the bases with two outs – but got Julio Borbon down on strikes to end the game. In all, Putnam fanned four batters over the two innings and allowed two hits and one walk.
DAN THE MAN: Dan Black continued his torrid pace to start the season on Saturday. Black had another two-hit performance – his second-consecutive of the year. He ripped two doubles and is now batting .455 (5-for-11) in three games this season. While with Double-A Birmingham last year, Black had two games in which he hit two doubles in a game and had 28 doubles last season.
TEAM ERA: As a team, the Charlotte Knights have a 2.08 ERA – good for fourth-best in the International League this season. After three games, the Knights have allowed six runs on 23 hits over 26.0 IP. Starters Scott Carroll (6.0 IP) and Andre Rienzo (5.0 IP) did not allow a run in each of their starts, while Saturday’s starter Eric Surkamp allowed just two runs (6.0 IP). The other four runs were allowed by reliever Mitchell Boggs (1.0 IP) on Friday.
FAMILIAR FACES: 16 of the 24 active players currently on the Charlotte Knights roster have spent time with the team in the past. Jordan Danks has spent the most time with the franchise as he enters his fifth season with the club. In fact, Danks has appeared in more games with the Knights than ever player to ever don the Knights uniform except for one – Joe Borchard. Borchard played in a franchise record 447 games, while Danks has appeared in 372. He needs 75 to tie and 76 more to break the record. The 2014 season marks the fourth season for Josh Phegley with the Knights, while it marks the third for Dylan Axelrod, who is the all-time franchise leader in ERA with a Knights career mark of 2.58. Currently, Axelrod would line up to pitch the BB&T Ballpark opener on Friday, April 11th. Deunte Heath (4), Charlie Leesman (3), and Hector Gimenez (3) are a few of the other recognizable faces in Charlotte in 2014. RHP Jake Petricka – a returnee from last season – was the first to be recalled to the White Sox.