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Charlotte Knights pitcher falls victim to launchpad park

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent
Knights
MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com

More Information

  • International League Home Runs By Park

    Team Total
    Charlotte110*
    Columbus84
    Norfolk68
    Durham63
    Lehigh Valley59
    Pawtucket57
    Gwinnett56
    Syracuse56
    Buffalo54
    Toledo52
    Rochester52
    Lousville46
    Scranton-W-B43
    Indianapolis40

    *Includes Monday’s Game 1

    Source: Charlotte Knights



It’s getting to the point where the fans in the outfield at BB&T BallPark – which measures just 330 feet to left and 315 to right – might want to consider borrowing the hard hats from the construction crew working on Fourth Street.

In his second start in Charlotte since being acquired from the Blue Jays organization, Knights right-hander Shawn Hill found out firsthand in Game 1 of Monday’s double-header against Gwinnett just how small the park can play.

Hill (2-3) allowed three home runs in six innings in an 11-5 loss to the Braves, but two of the long balls likely wouldn’t have left any other park in the International League.

There have been 110 home runs hit in Charlotte (58 by opponents, 52 by the Knights) in 41 games this season – 26 more than in Columbus’ Huntington Park, which ranks second in the IL with 84.

The league average is 59.9.

“It’s no secret that this is a good hitter’s park,” Knights outfielder Jordan Danks said. “I mentioned a couple of times before the game to our guys, that it was going to be a good day to put the ball in the air.”

Charlotte (32-52) hit two home runs, but the Braves (40-43) really took advantage.

Gwinnett’s Joey Terdoslavich got jammed on a ball in the second inning, but he still managed to muscle it out to left to put the Braves up 2-0.

In the fifth, Gwinnett added another run on a Mark Hamilton fly that Charlotte left fielder Marcus Semien could have caught without much trouble if it weren’t for that pesky 13-foot green wall.

Hill, who struggled to hide his frustration after Hamilton’s ball left the field, finished the afternoon with an ugly stat line that read: six innings pitched, 10 hits, eight runs (all earned), one walk and three strikeouts.

“He’s just happened to give up some lazy fly balls that have turned into home runs in this ballpark,” Danks said. “I don’t think it’s intimidating for him or anything, but it’s definitely frustrating at times for the pitchers.”

Hill’s major mistake came in the third inning, when he allowed a deep home run to Edward Salcedo with two men on base, leaving the Knights in a 7-2 hole.

Charlotte entered Monday leading the IL in home runs with 94 (20 more than second-placed Toledo) and received long balls from Josh Phegley (3-for-4, three RBIs) in the sixth inning and Tyler Saladino (2-for-4) in the ninth.

Danks (2-for-3 with two doubles) and Phegley accounted for five of the Knights’ 10 hits in the game and four of their five runs. Jose Constanza, Terdoslavich and Elmer Reyes each had three-hit games for the Braves.

“When you hit balls in the air here, that’s just the way it is,” Knights manager Joel Skinner said. “That’s where we are at; both teams are playing in the same ballpark. They didn’t crush those balls, but again, this is where we are.”

BRAVES 11, KNIGHTS 5

Gwinnettabrhbi
Constanza lf5032
Cunningham cf4001
Gosselin 2b5000
Hamilton dh3421
Terdoslavich 1b5132
Reyes ss5231
Salcedo rf5224
Leonard 3b4110
Yepez c4110
Totals40111511

Charlotteabrhbi
Johnson dh5000
Sanchez 2b5010
Semien 3b4010
Danks cf3220
Phegley c4233
Wilkins 1b4010
Tuiasosopo lf3010
Tekotte rf3001
Saladino ss4121
Totals355115

Gwinnett04301012011150
Charlotte0200020015110

DP–Gwinnett 1, Charlotte 1. LOB–Gwinnett 5, Charlotte 6. 2B–Salcedo, Constanza, Reyes, Yepez, Danks 2, Tuiasosopo. HR—Terdoslavich, Salcedo, Hamilton, Phegley, Saladino. SF–Cunningham, Tekotte.

GwinnettIPHRERBBSO
Carpenter1.000003
Texeira W, 1-05.094422
Schlosser1.000001
Hoyt2.021101

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Hill L, 2-36.0108813
Boggs 2.043310
Cleto1.010001

WP-Boggs 2.

T-2:40. A-8,042.

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