Knights Knotes — 4/26/14

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: – RHP Tommy Hanson was sharp in his second start of the year, Andy Wilkins provided the offense, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Durham Bulls 3-1 on Friday in front of 10,307 fans at BB&T Ballpark – the team’s sixth sellout crowd of the season. The win was Charlotte’s third straight as they beat the Bulls in the series three games to one. The three-straight wins are the longest by the Knights since last season (8/24-8/26) at Syracuse. Knights 2014 Media Day 971

KNIGHTS STARTER: LHP Eric Surkamp (0-2, 6.16) will make his fifth start of the season in today’s opener in Rochester. Surkamp, 26, was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft by the San Francisco Giants. He made his Major League debut on August 27, 2011 for the Giants and allowed one run over six innings pitched in a start against the Houston Astros. He appeared in six games that season with the Giants and posted a 2-2 record with a 5.74 ERA. Surkamp missed the entire 2012 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He is a product of NC State University (2006-08).

100K CLUB: The Charlotte Knights have welcomed a Minor League Baseball best 106,058 fans through the gates of BB&T Ballpark this season after 11 games. The Knights are the only team in MiLB to welcome 100,000 fans. The next closest team to the Knights in overall attendance is Louisville, who have an overall mark of 88,846 through 13 games. The Knights would have welcomed even more fans with an expected sell-out crowd on April 18th – but rain postponed that game. The Knights have six sell-outs in 11 games and are averaging 9,642 after a sold-out crowd of 10,307 last night. Last season, the Knights welcomed 100,000 fans at Knights Stadium after the game on June 2 – their 29th home game of the season. At that point, the Knights were averaging 3,451 fans per game. They welcomed 90,544 fans through 27 games and 97,427 fans through 28 games last season.

MMMM BOP: RHP Tommy Hanson (1-1, 4.00) threw five scoreless, hitless innings on Friday en route to his first win of the year. It was his first win since June 15, 2013 (W, 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 8 SO) with LAA vs. NYY. The Oklahoma native struck-out six batters and walked three. He was signed by the Chicago White Sox on April 8 and assigned to Charlotte on April 19, threw 74 pitches, 44 for strikes. Hanson made his 2014 season debut on April 20th against his former team the G-Braves — in Gwinnett (L, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR).

HIT PARADE:Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez has hit safely in his last four games after ripping two hits in last night’s game. Hernandez had two of Charlotte’s three hits on the night on Friday. Over his last four games, he has three multi-hit games, including seven hits over that span. He’s hitting .538 (7-for-13) with three runs scored, two doubles, one RBI, and four walks. In nine home games this season, he is hitting .393 (11-for-28) with three doubles, four runs scored, and two RBIs.

FRANCISCO TREAT: RHP Frank Francisco was sharp in his second outing of the season last night for the Knights. He allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings in relief of Tommy Hanson. In his two appearances this season, Francisco has yet to allow a run in three innings. Francisco was signed by Chicago on April 14.

RBI GUY: Andy Wilkins added to his RBI and home run total last night as he launched the big three-run home in the bottom of the first inning – his third of the season – to lead the Knight to the 3-1 win over Durham. Over his past three games, Wilkins has two doubles, two home runs and has driven in eight runs. He’s raised his batting average nearly 40 points and is tied with Tyler Saladino for the most RBIs on the Knights with 13. He finished the game 1-for-2 with the home run, three RBIs, and a walk.

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