Knights Knotes — April 11, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights continue their sophomore season at BB&T Ballpark and play game three of the season tonight at 7:05 p.m. as they host the Norfolk Tides. The Knights, who took the opening game by a score of 6-3, lost last night’s game by a score of 7-6. The Tides scored four runs over the final two innings for the come-from-behind win.

KNIGHTS STARTER: North Carolina State University product Carlos Rodon (NR), the number-three overall pick by the rodon_carlos_mediaChicago White Sox in last year’s Major League Baseball Draft, will make his first start of the season today and fourth

career Triple-A start today. Ranked as the number one prospect in Chicago’s organization heading into this season by Baseball America, Rodon went 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings pitched last year with Charlotte (fanned 18 batters). Last year, Rodon was promoted to the Charlotte Knights on Saturday, August 16, 2014 and ended up making three Charlotte starts last season after his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, August 19. The 22-year-old left-hander made his professional debut on July 22, 2014 for the Arizona League White Sox. He appeared in two games for the team and allowed two runs on four hits over three innings. Rodon had a successful and distinguished career at NC State. He broke the University’s all-time strikeout mark on April 11, 2014. He finished with 436 punch-outs.

ROSTER MOVE: LHP Eric Surkamp was optioned to Charlotte today (report time to be determined), so he has not yet been officially added to Charlotte’s active roster, which already sits at 25. He was activated off Chicago’s 15-day disabled list earlier today before being optioned to Charlotte. He was placed on the White Sox disabled list on April 5 (retroactive to March 27) with an upper back strain. In 18 games (11 starts) with the Charlotte Knights last season, Surkamp, 27, posted a 4-5 record with a 4.69 ERA. He was named the International League Pitcher of the Week for June 16-22 after going 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two starts.

MULTI-HIT PARADE: Four Charlotte Knights batters had at least two hits apiece last night. Matt Tuiasosopo, Engel Beltre, Tyler Saladino, and Leury Garcia each had two hits last night as the Knights finished with 11 hits in the 7-6 loss. It was the team’s second double-digit hit total of the season (they had 12 hits on Opening Knight).

ON THE BASE PATHS
: Charlotte infielder Tyler Saladino returned to the Charlotte Knights lineup on Opening Knight and went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Last night, Saladino added two more hits and three stolen bases to up his two-game season batting average .556. He has an IL-best four stolen bases over two games and tied for second in the league in hits with five. Saladino, 25, hit .310 last season with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 82 games before suffering a torn UCL in his right elbow and undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery.

THREE BAGGERS: Charlotte center fielder Trayce Thompson legged out his first triple of the season last night – the third by a Knights player already this year. In Thursday’s opener, Matt Tuiasosopo and Tyler Saladino each tripled. Thompson, 24, legged out 11 triples over his last two seasons with Double-A Birmingham. Last season, he tripled six times, which was ranked tied for seventh in the Southern League. He had five triples in 2013 with the Barons.

ATTENDANCE FEVER: After welcoming 10,514 fans through the gates of BB&T Ballpark on Opening Knight, the club welcomed 9,385 fans last night. Through two regular season games, the defending attendance champions have welcomed 19,899 fans total. So far in 2015, the Knights have already welcomed 40,794 fans through the gates. The Queen City’s new kingdom played host to its first-ever college game on Tuesday, March 31 (8,147), an exhibition game between the Chicago White Sox and Charlotte Knights on Friday, April 3 (10,556), and a free scrimmage game between the Charlotte Knights and Davidson College on Monday, April 6 (2,192).

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