Oct. 28, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, BB&T Ballpark will feature a matchup between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and University of South Carolina Gamecocks, two of the nation’s premier baseball programs. The 7:05 p.m. game will be the first of two between the universities, with another matchup set to be played at BB&T Ballpark in 2017. South Carolina will be the home team for the inaugural game in 2016, while UNC will be the home team in the 2017 edition.
“We are thrilled to work with both of these outstanding universities for their first game at BB&T Ballpark on April 12th,” stated Knights Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President Dan Rajkowski. “Hosting this game will be a great way to showcase two great Carolina baseball programs to the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. We continue to look at ways in which we can tie in the collegiate baseball community and are eager to announce more college games to be played at BB&T Ballpark in the very near future.”
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks are members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and compete in the Eastern Division. The Gamecocks won National Championships in 2010 and 2011 — one of just six schools in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles. Led by head baseball coach Chad Holbrook, the Gamecocks posted a 35-25 record in 2015. The 2016 season will be Holbrook’s fourth as head baseball coach of the Gamecocks.
“We are looking forward to the matchup in April against North Carolina,” stated Holbrook. “BB&T Ballpark is a tremendous facility and it will be a great setting for college baseball. The atmosphere should be electric, and our players are excited for the opportunity to play in the great city of Charlotte. I know Gamecock Nation will be there, and we look forward to seeing a lot of Garnet and Black in BB&T Ballpark.”
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and compete in the Coastal Division. Over the last 10 seasons, the school has made six College World Series appearances. Currently led by head baseball coach Mike Fox, the Tar Heels posted a 34-24 record in 2015. A native of Asheville, NC, Fox is a 1974 graduate of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC. He took over as the school’s head baseball coach in 1999.
“We are excited to be playing in Charlotte and at beautiful BB&T Ballpark,” stated Fox. “Charlotte is home to a lot of UNC fans and alumni, and I am glad they will have this opportunity to see us play against a great opponent. We appreciate the Knights hosting this game and look forward to being there on April 12.”
Over the years, a number of players have gone on from UNC and USC to play for the Charlotte Knights. In 1994, Jesse Levis, Matt Merullo, and Paul Shuey — all UNC products — played for the Charlotte Knights. Five years later, USC product Dave Hollins played a key role on Charlotte’s championship team — the club’s second in franchise history. In 2013, Steve Tolleson hit .288 with the Knights in 116 games. Tolleson, a standout at USC, was an International League All-Star that season.
Gates for the 7:05 p.m. game in Uptown Charlotte on April 12 will open at 6:00 p.m. and tickets will go on sale to the general public at a later date. Season tickets for the 2016 Charlotte Knights season at BB&T Ballpark are available by phone at 704-274-8282, online at www.charlotteknights.com, or in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office. Starting today, current Knights season ticket holders have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to this game, as well as the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game and 2016 Triple-A Home Run Derby. BB&T Ballpark will host the 2016 Triple-A Home Run Derby on Monday, July 11 and the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13.