The Charlotte Knights 2015 campaign came to a close earlier today at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia, as the Gwinnett Braves would come away victorious with a 6-2 win over Charlotte. With the loss, the Knights wrap up the season with a 74-70 mark, good enough for third place in the South Division of the International League standings, despite missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
In the top half of the first inning, the Knights would get the ball rolling, as Micah Johnson would start off the game with a ground-rule double down the left field line, followed up by a single from Jason Coats. The next batter for Charlotte was Dayan Viciedo, and he would ground into a 6-4-3 double play, that allowed Micah Johnson to score the game first run of the afternoon to put the Knights on top 1-0. In the bottom half of the first, Gwinnett would even up the game as Mallex Smith would get on board with a double off Charlotte starter Brad Penny(L, 7-10), and he would advance to third on an error committed by center fielder Jason Coats, setting the table for Joey Terdoslavich to deliver an RBI double to bring in Smith to tie up the game at 1-1.
The Braves would seize the lead in the bottom half of the third, when Mallex Smith drew a walk, and Terdoslavich would move him up to second on a base hit to right field, and with only one man out, Cedric Hunter would bring home Smith on a line drive single to right field to make it a 2-1 lead for the Gwinnett Braves, a lead that would stand until the top half of the 6th inning.
Dayan Viciedo started off the top half of the 6th inning for Charlotte with a double to left field. After Matt Davidson drew a walk and Matt Tuiasosopo was hit by a pitch, Kevan Smith would ground into a 4-6-3 double play, which would allow Viciedo to score the game-tying run to make it a 2-2 game, then in the Braves half of the inning, Sean Kazmar began things with a double to left field, he would be followed up by Jordan Lennerton, who would move Kazmar over to third with a single. then Luis Mateo would bring in Kazmar via a 6-4-3 double play ball, which resulted in a 3-2 lead for Gwinnett.
In the bottom half of the 7th, the G-Braves would erupt for a three-run inning, which started off when Jose Yepez would launch his first home run of the season to make it a 4-2 game, then after Mallex Smith walked, he would steal second base during Terdoslavich’s at bat. Penny would walk Terdoslavich, setting the stage for Hunter to drive in Smith to give Gwinnett a 3-run cushion at 5-2, chasing Brad Penny from the game, as he would go 6 1/3 innings, giving up all 6 runs on 11 hits, while walking 3 batters and striking out 4 Braves in his final start of the season for Charlotte.
Gwinnett would later add to the lead when Sean Kazmar would bring in Jacob Schrader on a sacrifice fly to give the Braves a 6-2 lead, which would eventually turn out to be the game’s final score, as the Knights finish the year with a 74-70 record.
In short, the 2015 Knights season was a little bit improving from a tough 2014 campaign, and just like last season, the team knows that they can improve on a lot of things in the upcoming off-season for the team, as they look ahead to Opening Day on April 7, 2016 in Durham, as the Knights will take on the Durham Bulls.