Charlotte scored early and often, taking a lead all the way to the seventh inning, but gave up six late runs to drop a home game to Wake Forest 12-7 Wednesday night to end a five-game baseball home stand at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The win snaps a five-game losing skid for the Demon Deacons, as Wake improves to 20-14. Charlotte has dropped five in a row and slips to 14-19 on the season.
The 49ers got on the board first for the 19th time this season (9-10), when leadoff batter Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) singled, stole second, advanced to third on a errant throw on a failed pickoff attempt and came home on an RBI groundout by shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS).
The 49ers scored another run in the second after first baseman Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, advanced on a groundout and scored on a Brown single for the 2-0 lead. After Brown's single, he stole second and third to tie his career high of three swiped bags in one game and increase his conference-leading total to 26 on the year.
Charlotte starter Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) was off to a hot start, striking out six of the first 11 batters he faced, allowing two base runners on in the first trip through the order. The Demon Deacons finally touched him up for two runs to tie the game in the top of the fourth on two doubles and a walk.
The 49ers quickly regained the lead with a three-run bottom half on four-straight two-out hits, including the first career triple from outfielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS), who came in to replace Brown after the third inning. Charlotte recorded seven hits and three walks with two outs in the contest.
Both teams scored runs in the each of the middle three innings, with Charlotte emerging to the seventh with a 7-5 lead.
The Demon Deacons got to within one with a run in the seventh and tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the eighth, taking the lead for good with a two-run homer from Mac Williamson for the 9-7 lead. It was his tenth hit, and second homer, in 17 career at bats against the 49ers. He has nine RBI in four career starts against Charlotte. Wake tacked on three more in the ninth for the final runs of the game.
The win went to Wake reliever Jack Fischer (2-2). IN an inning and two-third, he gave up a hit and a walk, recording two strikeouts. Michael Dimock recorded his ninth save of the season, entering with a two-run lead and holding the Niners hitless for the final four outs, with a strikeout and a walk.
The loss went to Charlotte reliever Wes Hatley (Norwood, N.C. / South Stanly HS), who had his first decision of the season (0-1). He gave up three hits, including the homer in the eighth, with a walk and a strikeout in his inning pitched.
Hudgens struck out a career-high eight batters in a career-long four-inning outing, tying the season-high total for any 49ers pitcher in a single game (Andrew Smith on February 24 vs. Toledo). The 49ers as a team tied the season high with 11 team strikeouts in the contest, matching the 11 posted at Winthrop on February 28.
Roland tied season highs with two RBI and two runs scored with his first two-double game in three seasons. Six different 49ers scored runs and collected RBI.
Wake's Pat Blair had the game-high total of three RBI in the contest.
The 49ers head to Temple for a three-game Atlantic 10 Conference weekend series, beginning Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.