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Knights blast Tides

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent

Through 53 games this season, Jared Mitchell was lost.

“I was actually seeing the ball really well, but I was so bad with my timing that once I made the decision to swing, everything was off, everything was out of whack and didn’t play,” said Mitchell.

Through of June 14th, the 25-year-old was batting just .199 and had struck out in exactly half of his at-bats (78 of 156).

The following day, he was reassigned to Class AA Birmingham.

There, the former White Sox No. 1 prospect rediscovered his timing and rhythm at the plate, and he's returned to Charlotte looking more like the player Chicago thought it was getting with its first-round pick in 2009.

At no time was the change in Mitchell more apparent than in his first at-bat in Friday’s 7-1 Knights win over the Norfolk Tides in front a sold-out crowd of 10,448 at BB&T BallPark.

Mitchell worked the count full against Tides’ starter Tyler Wilson and then fouled off four pitches before taking a slider inside for ball four.

The 10-pitch at-bat – one he likely wouldn’t have been able to put up back in June – set the tone for the Knights to take a lead in first inning that they would never relinquish.

“The improved timing has cleaned up my bat path,” he said. “When I’m on time, I don’t need to rush to get to pitches, so I’m able to see pitches deeper, so it’s helped that way.”

Wilson – clearly frustrated that he’d lost Mitchell – started the Knights’ next batter, Marcus Semien, off with two straight balls before running the count full.

Wanting to avoid back-to-back walks, he came with a fastball over the heart of the plate and the result was a 350-foot home run that sent fans scattering.

In 19 games since his return, Mitchell's hit .312 (25-for-80) with three home runs, 13 runs scored, 12 RBIs and 21 strikeouts.

“No one wants to go down a level, but I saw it as another opportunity,” Mitchell said.

NOTE: Carlos Sanchez was recalled to Chicago. Taking his roster spot is infielder Dan Wagner (South Rowan), who moved up from Class AA Birmingham.

• Pitcher Eric Surkamp was optioned to Charlotte.

SOUTH ATLANTIC

Hickory 5, Hagerstown 1: Michael De Leon led off the first with a solo home run for the host Crawdads.

West Virginia 10, Kannapolis 5: An eight-run eighth boosted the host Power.

Knights 7, Tides 1

Norfolkabrhbi
Borbon cf4100
Berry lf3001
Alvarez rf3011
Clevenger c4000
Paredes 3b4000
Walker 1b4000
Urrutia dh3010
De Jesus ss3010
Lombardozzi 2b3000
Totals31131

Charlotteabrhbi
Mitchell cf3310
Semien ss4112
Phegley c3022
Taylor rf4000
Wilkins 1b4000
Tuiasosopo dh3100
Davidson 3b3120
Richmond lf3112
Jirschele 2b4000
Totals31776

Norfolk001000000130
Charlotte20130001x771

E — Doran. 2B–Phegley, Davidson. HR—Semien, Richmond. SB–Mitchell.

NorfolkIPHRERBBSO
Wilson3 1/355523
Yoon1 2/321112
Saunders200001
Coello101120

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Doran631124
McCutchen100000
Veal100001
Thompson100002

WP-Wilson, Yoon, Doran 2. HBP-Davidson. T-2:54. A-10,448.

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