Charlotte freshman Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) belted his first career home run in his first career start to finish off a home doubleheader sweep of Saint Peter's Saturday afternoon at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte won 5-2 in the nightcap after a 10-0 shutout of the Peacocks earlier in the day. The 49ers are off to a 3-0 start this season.
Saint Peter's got on the board first in the fourth inning, scoring an unearned run against Charlotte junior starting pitcher Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS). Center fielder Preston Aldridge reached on a two-base infield error with one out and scored on a two-out infield single by third baseman Brian Koster for the 1-0 margin.
The 49ers took the lead with two runs in the bottom half of that fifth. Third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) hit a leadoff triple to left before designated hitter Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) drew a walk. Senior catcher Miguel Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) then singled through the right side to plate Basen and move Montalbano to third to tie the game. Freshman second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) then lifted a sacrifice fly to right for his first career RBI, giving the Niners the 2-1 lead.
Clemmons took the 3-1 pitch of the leadoff at bat in the fifth out to left center for the 3-1 lead. It was his first career hit in his third at bat of the season. He added another hit and RBI in the sixth as part of a two-run frame for a 5-1 Niners lead.
Roberts left after seven innings on 80 pitches. He allowed four hits and just the one unearned run, striking out two and walking one.
The Peacocks were able to get a run back in the eighth on an RBI single after the Niners' third infield error of the game. Aldridge collected the RBI on an infield single down the third base line.
Charlotte junior closer John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) collected his second save in his second appearance of the season, sending down the Peacocks in order in the ninth.
Clemmons, Basen and Rodriguez all had the game-high of two hits for Charlotte. Clemmons' pair of RBI led the game.
Peacocks starting pitcher Dom Macaluso took the loss in his first start of the season. He tossed five innings, allowing eight hits and five runs in 99 pitches. He struck out a batter and walked three in the outing. Reliever Anthony DeLeo limited Charlotte to just one hit in the last three innings, striking out a pair.
The four-game series ends Sunday, with a scheduled noon start, weather permitting.
NOTES: Clemmons is the first 49er to log a home run as his first hit since fellow outfielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) hit a grand slam in his first career at bat in 2009 against Oakland... He is the fourth 49er since 2009 to log a homer as his first hit of the season (Brown, Michael Gyoerkoe and Rob Lyerly are the others)... All three Charlotte starters recorded wins in the series to this point... The three starters (Roberts, Barnette and Smith) have allowed just one earned run in 19 combined innings for a combined 0.47 ERA in that span... Charlotte has trailed in two of the three games in the series... Charlotte has outscored SPC 14-1 after the fourth inning... Charlotte's offense has scored eight runs in 7.1 innings against the Peacocks bullpen... Charlotte's bullpen has allowed one unearned run in eight combined innings, collecting three saves.