The Charlotte 49ers scored four runs in the first without a hit and cruised to a 9-5 victory to start an Atlantic 10 Conference series Friday at George Washington's Barcroft Park. The win gave Charlotte its fourth A-10 victory in its last six league contests, improving to 6-9 in the league, 18-23 overall. The Colonials have lost six-straight conference games and slide to 17-26, 3-10 in the A-10.
The 49ers drew six of George Washington's 15 walks in the opening inning, with three walks coming with the bases loaded as part of a four-run first. Designated hitter Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) walked four times, one shy of the school record, and reached base safely in 25 consecutive games for the 49ers, the second-longest such active streak in the league.
Charlotte took the 4-0 lead to the second, when a leadoff double from Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) turned into another run after he stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS). Basen recorded the game-high total of four RBI in the contest, a new season-high total for the junior.
The Colonials got on the board in the second, with a leadoff home run from outfielder Owen Beightol scored the first run, and a walk, an error, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly scored an unearned run against Charlotte starter Andrew Smith (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS).
The 49ers added two more runs in the fourth, with three straight hits with one out, starting with a single from shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). His hit extended his season-best and conference-leading active hit streak to 17 games. Clemmons followed with another double for the RBI and he scored after a single from outfielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) and a RBI sacrifice bunt from Basen for a 7-2 lead.
GW got another unearned run on Smith in the fifth, when the leadoff man reached on a fielding error and scored on a two-out single for a 7-3 score.
Basen hit his team-leading fourth triple to lead off the sixth, scoring on a groundout by Shive for the 8-3 lead.
Both teams also scored in the ninth. Roland singled and scored on a single up the middle from Basen for the final Charlotte run of the day, while the Colonials got a walk, a single and a double for one run and a sacrifice fly for their fifth run in the final scoring play of the contest.
Smith got the win (5-6) after seven innings, giving up one walk and six hits, striking out three. Only one of the three runs charged to him was earned.
GW starter Brian Durner took the loss (1-7) without recording an out in the contest. He walked five of the seven batters he faced in the contest.
Roland led all players with three hits in the game, while he and Clemmons scored three runs each. Roland set a new season-high with that total, with Clemmons tying his high run tally. The 15 walks by Charlotte batters were two short of the school record.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday at 1 p.m.
NOTES: Brown stole a base for his league-leading 29th of the season... Clemmons has raised his season average from .119 to .274 over the past 16 days, with 15 hits in the last eight games, after recording just five hits in his first 19 contests... He has also scored 13 runs in that span... Roland has also raised his average from .247 to .322 during his 17-game hit streak... He is batting .406 (28-for-69) in those games, with nine doubles and 17 runs scored in that stretch... Smith has a decision in all 11 starts this season, and he lowered his season ERA to 4.33 after today... He tossed 103 pitched in those seven innings.