Durham Bulls vs. Charlotte Knight
BB&T Ball Park Charlotte, N.C.
The Knights are the triple A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and the Bulls are the affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
This was the first game I attended at this stadium, but it is not the first time I have seen it. I have actually seen this stadium being built-in various stages in 2012 I was in Charlotte the day they set the plate and broke down and last year I was there just about halfway through the construction.
The above photo is behind home plate and is not an entrance.
This is a look at it from across the street last year during the construction.
On the outside of the stadium down the third base line the have kind of tribute to the history of baseball in Charlotte. Starting with this mural of Latta Park. I tried finding info on this stadium but could not find anything beside that it is a park in Charlotte. If anybody knows any info or has photos of it please contact me would like to learn more about it.
The photo pretty much give much of the info about the team name and the years that baseball was played there. From the little bit of info I could find on this one I believe it was the stadium that the first integrated baseball game was played in North Carolina. If any body does have info once again please let me know.
This was the stadium used before they built the Charlotte Knights stadium before the last one in Fort Mills.
The last was the Knights stadium that I already mentioned. I still think it looked like a prison. I have seen 3 games there in 2011 all three was against the Bulls. so this is the 4th knights game I have seen and the played the Bulls every time I have seen games there.
This is a photo of the entire wall during construction.
Here is a look at the same wall from home plate to the out field from this year with the stadium complete.
Before I show those I have a few more from outside with the progress from last year to the complete stadium.
This is where the left field entrance is now.
Now into the stadium. I will insert different photos threw out the game as I moved around with photo from during the construction.
Charlotte Knight banners on light pole outside of stadium.
This is what the end of the seats look like. this is a feature not many people really notice about a stadium.
Players from both teams lined up along their respective lines during the National Anthem.
Now it was time to play ball.
Chris Beck started the game for the Knights and he pitched very well through the first 2 innings. he sat the Bulls down in order in the 1st. and 2nd. inning striking out 3 in the 2 innings.
Merril Kelly started for the Bulls I saw him pitch in relief in Durham and also in the triple A All Star game. He did get the Knights first batter of the game out and then the second batter Marcus Semien hit a triple to get on base. Jordan Danks would follow that up with a single that scored Siemien and put the Knights on the board with a 1-0 lead. Josh Phegley hit into a double play to end the inning. with 2 outs in the 2nd the Knights threatened to score again.
Michael Taylor started with a single and Dan Black followed with a single. Kelly struck out Blake Tekotte to end the inning and the Knights left 2 runners on.
After pitching a perfect 2 innings Kelly gave up a hit to the Bulls Ray Olmedo got a single. He would advance from 1st. to 3rd. on a passed ball and then score on a balk by Kelly. That is a rough way to give up a run and that tied the game at 1.
Olemedo sliding into third after the passed ball.
It was close but he was safe.
In the bottom of the third the Knights would score 2 runs on a very interesting call. With Danks on second after a 2 out double. Phegley would come out and hit the ball deep to right center.
Now I was not able to tell if the ball hit the rail or the wall.
They stopped him at second and then reviewed the play. I did not know there was a review in triple a.
In the 4th inning I took a quick walk around the stadium. This is a look from right center during Wilson Betemit at bat.
He ended the inning with this fly out to Taylor in right.
This is a look of the stadium from what know is around center field. This photo was taken either over or through the fence from the street.
Matt Davidson grounds out in the 4th inning.
Ali Solis gets a double in the 5th inning.
He was safe on the slide.
He would score on a Olmedo single 2 batters later.
That gave the Bulls their second run of the game. The Knights still held a 3-2 lead.
Siemien hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 5th to extend the Knights lead to 4-2.
The Knights also have their own creepy mascot race and this one was not so bad. It is Jerry the Jester who is in the lead in this one, king Mecklenberg and Queen Charlotte all character having to do with Charlottes history (somewhat) I know Queen Charlotte is, Mecklenberg is the name of the county the city of Charlotte is in. So Jerry was winning till the Knights mascot knocked him down and King Charlotte won. He leads the season with 22 wins closely followed by Queen Charlotte with 21 and Jerry the Jester has 10.
The Bulls brought in their second pitcher of the night Doug Mathis in in the 6th inning. Merril gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in his 5 innings of work. He did strike out 5 and walked 1.
The Knights brought in a second pitcher in the 6th inning as well Matt Zeleski. Chris Beck their starter went 5 giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and did not allow a hit till the 3rd. He struck out 5 and walked 1 also. Zeleski pitched 2 inning holding the Bulls and allowing only 1 hit.
Jarrett Casey pitched the top of the 9th for them.
Casey did give up one hit to Olmedo who was 3 for 4 tonight breaking up the no-no in the 3rd and an RBI in the 5th.
Robby Price came up with Olmedo on second.
He flew out to left to end the game and the game was over and the Knights won 4-2.
The Knights celebrate their win.
this was a pretty cool stadium. It does sell out and this night there was only general admission and standing room only seats which the general admission is for outfield seating and standing room only is for where ever you can stand. It was a pretty cool stadium that had features of many stadium I have been 2 before. Like the Home Run porch which reminded me of Columbus and they had a lot of group areas.
Like the Budweiser Home Plate Club and the Diamond Direct Lounge on the second level along the first baseline.
So that is it for this one I will be in Cleveland for an Mariners vs. Indians game on Thursday night!
Rochester Red Wings vs. Durham Bulls
Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham North Carolina
This is my 6th game of the road trip.
This was my second Bulls game and 4th time to this stadium this trip.
The Bulls are the Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Rochester Red Wings are the Triple A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
This being the 4th time I have been to this stadium this trip I did not arrive to early since the gates only open an hour before and there is know way of seeing or getting baseballs during batting practice.
So I got some photos of the pitchers warming up in the Bullpens here is Bulls starter Nate Karns.
Red Wings starter Alex Meyer.
Karns throwing the first pitch of the game to the Red Wings Doug Bernier. Bernier hit a single and was left on base. Karns got the next 2 batters to ground out and struck out Deibinson Romero to end the inning.
Alex Meyer pitching to the Bulls lead off batter Robby Price.
The Bulls went down in order in the first with to fly outs to Daniel Ortiz in left field this photo is the second out hit by Justin Christian. The third was a strike out looking by Vince Belnome.
With Ali Solis on second Hak-Ju Lee set down a sac bunt to move him to third. Solis advanced to third and remained there after the next 2 batters after Lee got out and ended the inning. It was like watching a Rockies game where the completely blow a opportunity.
After 3 inning I decided to wander toward the out field and took some photos along the way as they played the 4th inning. Here is a photo of Karns pitching with the Bull looking on! The Red Wings went down in order in the inning including 2 strike outs.
The Red Wings got 2 runs in the 5th, the first a Nate Hanson single scored Pedro Florimon, Hanson then scored on a Deibinson Romero single to give Rochester a 2 run lead.
He was safe.
After a Vince Belnome hit the ball to first base Nate Hanson throws to second for the force out.
The Red Wings tried to turn 2 as Doug Bernier throws back to first.
After the 6th inning I headed back towards the infield. Here is a photo of Bulls reliever Merrill Kelly warming up in the bullpen.
Aaron Thompson Wilson Betemit at first. Jeremy Moore was on second Thompson walked both of them to start the 7th inning.
The Red Wings Starter Alex Meyer pitched 6 complete giving 5 hits and no runs striking out 8 Bulls batters.
They both moved up a base on a Mike Fontenot sac bunt.
Thompson was replaced with A.J. Achter after the Fontenot sac bunt.
Moore and Betemit both scored on a Lee single to tie the game at 2.
Moore sliding into home for the second run.
Kelly came into pitch for the Bulls in the 8th inning.
Nate Karns who started for the Bulls went 7 complete innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits striking out 9.
The Bulls then took the lead in the 8th after the Red Wings Achter hit Christian, walked Belnome and gave up a single by Mikie Mahtook. Achter was taken out of the game and replaced with Michael Tonkin. Tonkin struck out the next 2 batters and then walked Fontenot, the walk forced in a run and the Bulls had a 3-2 lead going into the 9th.
Josh Lueke came into pitch for the Bulls in the 9th.
Chris Rahl reached base on a throwing error by Lee to first and then scored to tie the game at 3 on a Florimon single. Florimon than headed to second on the throw to home that was cut off by Belnome and he threw to Lee at second to get Florimon out at second for the second out of the inning.
Red Wings first baseman Nate Hanson makes the catch to get Price out at first. The Red Wings then intentionally walked Christian and then they got the next 2 batters out.
So we headed to the 10th.
Bernier advanced to second on a James Bersford ground out at first.
Ramirez scored on a Josmil Pinto single to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.
Then Charlie Montoya took Lueke out of the game.
C. J. Riefenhauser came into pitch for the Bulls.
Romero then hit into a double play to end the inning.
The Bulls come up to bat down 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th.
Edgar Ibarra pitched the 10th for the Red Wings.
The Bulls DH Wilson Betemit hit a solo home run to tie the game at 4.
To bad there was not anybody on base when he hit it because they would have won and instead we headed to the 11th. With 2 outs Florimon was walked and would score along with Hanson on a Bernier double to give the a 6-4 lead.
Lester Oliveros pitched the bottom of the 11th for the Red Wings. He walked lead off batter lead Robby Price reached on a fielders choice that got Lee out at second.
Justin Christian struck out for the second out of the inning.
..that scored Price and cut the Red Wings lead to 6-5.
That is it for this one, Still not sure what I am doing the next few days thinking of a Rookie League game in Burlington on Friday which is a double header. I do know I will be in Charlotte on Tuesday night before starting to head back west with stops in Cleveland, and Lake County Ohio before catching up with the Rockies in Detroit.
Till then see you around!!!
Rochester Red Wings vs. Durham Bulls
Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, N.C.
The Rochester Red wings are a Triple A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins
The Durham Bulls are the Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays
They are in the International League The Red Wings are in the North Division and are in 3rd place with a 55-47 record before the game. The Durham Bulls are in the South Division and killing it in first place and have a 55-46 record before the game and have a 10+ game lead over the second place team in their division the Gwinnett Braves.
This was the 3rd time I have been to this stadium in the last week and the 7th time since I have been doing my summer road trip. I headed to this game because their Manager Charlie Montoyo had 613 wins as their manager. That ties the franchise record held by Bill Evers.
Over the last off season the Bulls did some renovations this is the concession stands on the right field concourse that was changed to these wood facades.
They renamed the bar on the right field concourse. I think they are trying to recreate the Party Deck at Coors!
Bulls starter Enny Romero warming up in the bullpen.
Charlie Montoyo and the Red Wings manager Gene Glynn exchange score cards and go over ground rules before the game.
Romero throwing his first pitch to the Red Wings Doug Bernier. Bernier would walk, but Romero would get the next 3 batters out.
Romero pitches with Bernier on first.
Sean Gilmartin started for the Red Wings.
The first batter he faced was Robby Price who he struck out the first of 2 strike outs in the inning. He faced the minimum 3 batters in the inning.
Since I have always sat on the first base line or close to the infield I decided to sit in the right field seats for a few innings. Did not take to many photos there just sat and enjoyed the game. Jeremy Moore tried to stretch a definite double into a questionable triple and the question was answered he was out at third the Bulls did get on the board on the play Mikie Mahtook did score the first run of the game for the Bulls and give them a 1-0 lead. The out at third did end the inning. The Red Wings did get a run to tie the game in top of the 5th. Nate Hanson got on base with a force out at second and he reached 1st. He scored on a Eric Farris single.
Barcelona has the running of the bulls, well in Durham they have the running of the kids!
The Bulls did also get to run in the bottom of the 5th. on a Ali Solis double that scored Vince Belnome to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead.
And remember Rockies fans when you are at the bottom of your fifth…. (don’t get it listen to a Rockies game on the radio)
After the top of the 7th I headed back to the first base line. Along the way I took this photo of the always helpful Durham Bulls staff! More importantly it is the creative BNW to show the mad photo skillz!
After Red Wings starter Gilmartin allowed the first 2 batters of the 7th reach base, Deolis Guerra came into pitch for the Red Wing. In the 6+ innings Gilmartin pitched he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits and struck out 9 Bulls batters.
Mike Fontenot hit a ball to left center that went to the wall and score Mahtook and Belnome to give the Bulls a 4-1 lead.
Fontenot makes the turn to second as Belome heads to third.
Belnome slides into home to beat the throw to home.
Hak-Ju Lee hit a ground rule double down the right field line it was a grounder but I think it may have hit the bull pen mound and bounced out or was fan interference. Not sure I was watching the batter threw the camera. But the hit did score Fontenot and give the Bulls a 5-1 lead.
Lee was then caught on a pick off play between second and third base.
It was you typical 1,4,3 caught stealing!
Steve Geltz pitched the 7th and 8th inning for the Bulls. Starter Enny Romero pitched 6 complete innings he only allowed 1 run on 6 hits striking out 4 while walking 3. Geltz in his 2 innings gave up 2 hits striking out 3.
Josh Lueke came in to close the game for the Bulls.
After Lueke gave up a run and struck out 2 and got the last out on a fly ball to center, Charlie Montoyo became the most winning manager in Durham Bulls history. Here he is heading out to celebrate the win with his team and his 2 son’s.
Here he is shaking hands with first base coach Dave Myers.
In honor of his historic win as manager he was named player of the game and was interviewed and then got the water dump! It was awesome to be able to be at this game in Durham for such a historic night for the franchise. This is why I these road trips you never know what you may witness. The same is with any other game you may attend, you never know what will happen in the game. This event I did expect and is why I decided to attend this game on a day I was not going to a game.
So the Bulls won this game 5-1 and a 56-46 record for the year.
They also made another change to the front of the stadium adding 2 fountains to the front of the stadium.
That is it for this one it was a great game to experience. The next game I will attend is in Zubulon, N.C. the Home of the Carolina Mudcats this is the only team I have not seen to in N.C. I would say it was the last stadium I have not been to but I now have to go to the new Charlotte Stadium which I will go to next week.
See You Around.
Triple A Home Run Derby
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Durham, North Carolina
I left Denver about 9:30 A.M. MDT on Sunday and arrived in Raleigh at 5:30 P.M. EDT. So After 31 hours in the Truck I stopped at my relatives house showered and headed to Durham Bulls Athletics Park for the triple a home run derby. This was the 4th time I have been to the DBAP. I have been there 3 times for Durham Bulls games. we Arrived just in time for the start of the Derby around 7:15.
The above photo is the front of the stadium, which is a lot more open then it use to be. They remodel parts of the stadium last winter including moving the front gates of the stadium adding a bleacher section on the first base side, A large LED Board on the Blue Monster, LED board along the right field fence, resurfaced the field and changed the drainage system under the field.
This is a look at the front of the stadium from 2011.
There were many promotion around hitting the Bull during the home run derby. One was the first hit everyone would win a steak taco from Moe’s South West grill. The next 14 times the Bull would get hit a fan would win $100.00 If it was hit 15 times 1 fane would win $15,000 lets just there was no money one. The Bull was only hit once during the home run derby.
One thing that each participant was able to do was after the 7th out they were able to use a composite bat for ass long as they did not get the 8th out.
There were 6 players in the home run derby the first was Francisco Pena who plays for the Omaha StormChasers. He hit 5 homers in the 1st. round.
Next up was from the Indianapolis Indians Matt Hague he hit 2 in the 1st. round.
Las Vegas 51’s Allan Dykstra was the third up. As he was batting I headed towards the out field to see if I could snag a ball. he hit 3 in the round.
Next up was Jesus Aguilar from the Columbus Clippers. he hit 3 homers in the first round.
Former Sky Sox player Mike Jacobs, now with the Reno Ace’s did not hit any homers.
The 6th guy was Mikie Mahtook from the Durham Bulls who was a late add and replaced Mike Hessman from the Toledo Mudhens.
4 of the 6 returned to the second round and I returned to my seat. Pena, Hague, Dykstra and Aguilar competed in the second round.
Pena added 3 to his total for 8 homer in the 2 rounds.
Hague added 2 to his total for 6 home runs.
Dykstra added 3 for a total of 7 and Aguilar 3 for a total of 6. Pena and Dykstra advanced to the finals.
Clay Council, who pitched to Josh Hamilton in Josh Hamilton in the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium. That was when Hamilton hit 28 home runs in a single round.
Clay Council throwing to Francisco Pena in the final round.
Pena did not hit a homer in the final round.
So Dykstra only needed to hit 1 and he did to win.
The 2014 triple A Home Run Derby Champ Allan Dykstra displays his Championship belt.
That was it for the Triple A Home Run Derby. it was pretty cool to be able to see this event and I will be at the Triple A All-Start Game Tonight.
After The All-Star game I will be heading to Winston-Salem and Greensboro.