A late rally came up short for Charlotte as the 49ers fell 8-4 Tuesday night at No. 26 North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium in the final non-conference regular-season game for both teams. Charlotte drops to 35-14 overall, while the Tar Heels improve to 33-20 on the season.
The Tar Heels got a leadoff home run in the first from third baseman Levi Michael, and followed with a sacrifice fly in the second from catcher Jacob Stallings for a 2-0 lead.
The 49ers tied the game with a pair of runs in the third on four consecutive singles, including RBI hits from outfielders Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) and Justin Wilson (Canton, N.C. / Pisgah HS).
North Carolina scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half to take a 4-2 lead. The Tar Heels added two more runs in the fifth and eighth to take an 8-2 lead.
In the ninth, Charlotte had a single and three walks, with Wilson's bases-loaded walk driving a run, and a second coming on the ball-four wild pitch of his at-bat. Runners were left on the corners after a ball hit deep in the hole resulted in an out to shortstop Ryan Graepel to end the game.
Wilson had two RBI for Charlotte to lead the charge, tying Grapel's two RBI for the Tar Heels. Graepel's four hits led all players.
North Carolina reliever Jimmy Messer tossed three innings to get the win (2-1). He allowed one hit and one walk, with four strikeouts.
Charlotte reliever Tim Lysaught took the loss for Charlotte (4-4). He allowed four runs on five hits in three innings pitched.
Charlotte heads to Richmond to finish the regular season with a three-game conference series at Pitt Field to take on the Spiders, beginning Thursday at 3 p.m. The Niners need one win to take an outright Atlantic 10 Conference championship and secure the top seed in next week's A-10 Tournament.