CHARLOTTE – Top Chicago White Sox prospect Zack Collins launched two home runs, third baseman Danny Mendick added a three-run shot, and the Charlotte Knights charged past the Durham Bulls 12-11 on April 4 in front of the largest crowd in BB&T Ballpark opening night history as 10,656 fans walked through the gates.
The home opener – the sixth in BB&T Ballpark history – was also the 10th largest crowd since opening the facility on April 11, 2014.
Ranked as 12th-best prospect in the White Sox system by Baseball America, Collins, 24, had a Triple-A debut to remember. The former first-round pick, 10th overall, in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft and Knights catcher went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, two long balls, a triple and five RBIs. Collins hit 15 home runs in 122 games with the Double-A Birmingham Barons last season.
Mendick, who briefly saw time with the Knights in 2016 (two games), went 1-for-5 with a three-run home run in the fourth inning of Thursday’s game.
Right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson (1-0, 0.00) earned the win out of the Charlotte bullpen in his debut. Thompson, 25, allowed just one walk over 1.1 scoreless frames. Right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya gave up one run over two innings to earn the save.
The Knights will continue their four-game series against the Bulls on April 5 at 7:04 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark. Pre-game radio coverage of Friday’s 7:04 p.m. game is set for 6:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The game features the first Friday Night Fireworks show of the season presented by BB&T and News Talk 1110 WBT.
KNIGHTS KNOTES: Charlotte’s offense pounded out 13 hits in the season opener… First baseman Matt Skole, who returned to the Knights for a second consecutive season, went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored… Designated hitter Preston Tucker, who signed with the White Sox as a free agent on February 23, 2019, went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs… Left fielder Nicky Delmonico chipped in with two hits… RHP Donny Roach started for the Knights and allowed six runs on nine hits over three innings of work… Before the game, the White Sox optioned RHP Dylan Covey to the Knights (Report TBD).