Gwinnett keeps it going: their 6-2 win puts them a game away from sweeping the 6-game series
Preview: Charlotte Knights (28-33) vs Gwinnett Stripers (28-33)
The June 10th (2023) game between the Charlotte Knights (AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) and the Gwinnett Stripers (AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) finds both teams trending, but in opposite directions.
The Knights are in 7th place in the International League East, 15 games out of first place. They have lost the first 4 games of this 6-game series and are 3-7 over their last 10 games. In hoping to halt their current skid, starting pitcher Sean Burke (1-3, 7.39 ERA) looks to turn the corner from his previous start (June 4th against Nashville, where he's tagged for 6 runs in a 5- inning stint). On offense, infielder Nate Mondou (.278 BA, 7 HR and 22 RBI's), catcher Carlos Perez (.251 BA, 9 HR and 22 RBI's), and outfielder Victor Reyes (.313 BA, 10 HR and 47 RBI's) look to pace the team's offense (who has scored only 12 runs in the first 4 games of the series).
While the Stripers are in 8th place in the International League West, they are only 7.5 games out of first place, and in taking the first 4 games of the series, they've won 6 of their last 10 games. Starting pitcher Michael Soroka, who has battled through a torn Achilles tendon and related injuries (1-2, 4.33 ERA), is prepared to add to the pitching staff's current run of limiting Charlotte to 3 runs per game (in this series). On offense, infielder Vaughn Grissom (.321 BA, 19 RBI's), infielder Yolmer Sanchez (.254 BA and 25 RBI's), and outfielder Luke Williams (.268 BA with 29 RBI's) look to lead an offense putting up 6 runs per game in the series (outscoring the Knights 24-12).
An added energy is in the air, as Braves' Hall of Fame member Dale Murphy is at the ballpark for autographs and photos, and the Divine 9 (North Metro Pan Hellenic Council), the collective of predominantly Black/African-American fraternities and sororities, are having their inaugural theme night game experience. Prior to the first pitch and game play, we're able to sit down with Vaughn Grissom. He shares some timely insight on the game and beyond:
Game highlights: Gwinnett wins again by a 6-2 score and can potentially sweep the 6-game series
Outside of early 1st inning challenges where he hit 2 of the first 3 batters, Gwinnett's Michael Soroka (who improves to 2-2 as he earns the win) shuts down Charlotte's offense. In 6 innings, he allows 1 run on 3 hits, along with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks, providing continued solid pitching which is part of what carries the team during the series.
Outfielder Forrest Wall gets the Stripers offense going in the bottom of the 1st inning with a leadoff home run to give the team an early 1-0 lead. The Stripers would add another run in the bottom of the 2nd inning thanks to Justin Dean's sacrifice fly, making it a 2-0 game.
While the Knights would get a run of their own in the top of the 5th inning via Zach Remillard's RBI single, the Stripers would strike back in the bottom half of the 5th inning. The team would load the bases twice; early in the inning (with no outs), Luke Williams' RBI groundout makes it a 3-1 game. Later in the inning (bases loaded with 2 outs), Braden Shewmake's seeing eye single (where shortstop ach Remillard loses the flight of the ball in the late evening sun) plates 2 runners, giving the team a 5-1 lead.
Vaughn Grissom's RBI single in the bottom of the 7th extends the Gwinnett lead, giving them a 6-1 advantage.
The Knights would get a run in the top of the 8th thanks to a bases loaded walk of Stephen Priscotty to make it a 6-2 game.
On offense, Gwinnett is led by Forrest Wall (3 for 4 with a solo home run and 1 RBI), Braden Shewmake (2 RBI's), and Justin Dean (1 for 2 with 1 RBI). Grant Holmes earns his 3rd save as Gwinnett's pitching limits Charlotte's offense again (allowing 2 runs on 5 hits).
Charlotte's Sean Burke takes the loss to drop to 1-4 (5 innings pitched, allowing 5 runs (earned) on 6 hits, along with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks). Outside of Zach Remillard (1 for 4 with 1 RBI), the Knights' offense is limited by the solid efforts of Gwinnett's pitching staff.
The series concludes on June 11th with a 1pm first pitch. Gwinnett looks to sweep the 6-game series while Charlotte looks to halt their current skid (now 3-8 in their last 11 games).
Notes: Video is recorded by Andrew Snorton.