Knights Knotes — June 6, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) tonight at 7:05 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. The Knights entered the day on Friday in a three-way tie for first place in the IL South Division with Norfolk and the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). Last night’s game one loss, combined with Durham’s loss, pushed the Knights and Bulls to second place. Both teams now sit one full game behind the Norfolk Tides in the IL South. The Knights have scored 236 runs this season – tied with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for second in the IL behind the Toledo Mud Hens (230). knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights were held to a season-low two hits as the Norfolk Tides tallied eleven on their way to a 5-0 victory in game one of a weekend series at BB&T Ballpark to maintain their place atop the International League South Division standings. The Tides sent knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa to the mound for Friday night’s matchup, and the 30-year-old allowed only two hits over 6.0 innings pitched while striking out five.

SOUTHERN COMFORT: A day after three teams were tied for the top spot, the Tides lead the IL South Division – just a game ahead of the Knights and Bulls. This season, the IL South Division has been Minor League Baseball’s most competitive. Currently, the IL South owns a combined .544 (118-99) winning percentage – which is tops around all of MiLB — better than the California League South’s Division (.519 winning percentage) and the South Atlantic League North Division (.518 winning percentage). Last season, the IL South Division posted the lowest winning percentage by any division in Minor League Baseball — .467 (268-306).

KNIGHTS STARTER: Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (2-1, 1.83 ERA) will make his fifth start of the 2015 season with the Knights tonight. Carroll started three games for the Knights before his contract was purchased by the Chicago White Sox on April 26. He posted a 1-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in eight games for the White Sox before being optioned down to the Knights on May 28. Most recently, Carroll started on Sunday, May 31 at BB&T Ballpark and earned a win after five shutout innings (W, 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 SO). It was his first Knights win since he earned the win in his second Knights outing of the season on April 17 after tossing five good innings against Gwinnett (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO). Last season with the Knights in four starts, he won IL Pitcher of the Week honors before earning a promotion to Chicago. He started his award-winning week with a solid performance at Durham on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The Kansas City, MO native pitched six innings and allowed two unearned runs over four hits en-route to his second win of the year. The Knights beat the Bulls 8-2 that day and Carroll improved to 2-0 on the season at that time. Five days later, Carroll started for the Knights in front of 10,200 fans at BB&T Ballpark in the team’s three-game series finale with the Norfolk Tides. The 29-year-old was sharp again and tossed a season-high seven shutout innings. He needed just 76 pitches to get through seven innings and allowed just three hits and one walk over that span. He entered his final 2014 start with the Knights without having allowed an earned run in 19.0 innings pitched. Carroll had his contract purchased by the White Sox on April 27 and made his Major League debut that day in a start against Tampa Bay (W, 7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER). It was the longest outing by a White Sox pitcher making his Major League debut since Gerry Janeski on April 10, 1970 (also 7.1 IP). Carroll spent part of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and appeared in just 11 starts between Advanced Rookie Bristol and Double-A Birmingham.

IL HR LEADER: 3B Matt Davidson leads the International League with nine home runs this year and is tied for third in the IL in RBIs (32). He has 109 career Minor League home runs.

Photo credit: Laura Wolf

Photo credit: Laura Wolf

BB&T BALLPARK NAMED BEST IN MiLB, LEADS IN ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark was named as “Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball” by Baseball America earlier this season. The ballpark led all of MiLB in attendance last season with a mark of 687,715 fans through 71 games. The Knights lead MiLB in overall attendance (282,979) and average attendance with (9,433) through 30 openings. Sacramento (PCL) is second with a 264,122 total and a 9,433 average through 28 openings.

SELL-OUT CROWDS: A year after welcoming 31 sell-out crowds through the gates in the first season in BB&T Ballpark history, the Knights welcomed their 14th sell-out crowd of the regular season last night – and 15th if you count the sell-out crowd on April 3rd against the Chicago White Sox. Last night’s crowd of 10,594 fans was the second-highest crowd of the season – behind the May 29th crowd of 10,643. That crowd on May 29th is the highest ever in BB&T Ballpark history.

NEARING 1 MILLION FANS: BB&T Ballpark has already welcomed 970,684 fans through 101 regular season home games – an average of 9,611 fans per game. Factor in the team’s extra games – Triple-A National Championship Game (8,886), Charlotte 49ers vs. NC State (8,147), and the Chicago White Sox exhibition game (10,556) – and BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 998,273 fans overall – which means BB&T Ballpark will welcome its 1 millionth overall fan through the gates during this homestand. However, the Knights will welcome and celebrate the 1 millionth regular-season Knights fan during the next homestand (June 16-21).

RUN LEURY RUN: Infielder Leury Garcia is batting .299 (56-for-187) and is tied for third in the IL this season in runs scored (29) – four behind IL leader Daniel Fields. He has a team-high 20 stolen bases and ranks second in the IL. In 25 games during the month of May, Garcia hit .330 (32-for-97) with seven doubles, one home run, seven RBIs, and 10 stolen bases.

THIS DAY IN KNIGHTS HISTORY: On June 6, 2013, the Charlotte Knights beat the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI by a score of 10-5. Steve Tolleson launched a grand slam in the game and went 2-for-3 with five RBIs. Mike McDade and Josh Phegley also homered to lead the Knights to the win.

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