Charlotte junior right hander Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS), the reigning Atlantic 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, struck out a career-high 10 and limited the league’s top batting offense in Xavier to five hits in eight innings as Charlotte won the weekend series by taking the Sunday finale 3-2 at Hayden Field. The 49ers improve their season record to 24-16 and leave town with an 8-4 A-10 mark. The Musketeers slip to 21-17 overall, also 8-4 in conference play.
In his last two league starts, Hudgens has allowed two earned runs in 15.1 innings, with 15 strikeouts and one walk. He improved to 4-0 with the win.
Xavier starter Tyler Koors had things under control when he was on the mound, limiting Charlotte to three hits in the first four innings. But in the fifth, the 49ers got on the scoreboard first. After a strikeout, redshirt senior J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) drew a walk. A wild pitch and a groundout moved Elseser to third before a two-out single off the wall in left field from senior third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) to drive in that first run of the game. After a hit batter, junior first baseman Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) singled through the left side to score Basen from second with two outs and give Charlotte a 2-0 lead.
The Musketeers got one run back in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff single, a wild pitch, a groundout and a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-1.
That score held until the eighth, when redshirt freshman Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) hit a leadoff solo homer to left to push the Charlotte lead back to two runs.
That run proved important as Xavier for a walk and an RBI triple in the eighth with two outs before a groundout ended the inning, with Hudgens keeping Charlotte in front.
Reliever Ryan Mas (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) came in for the ninth. He struck out the first batter of the inning, gave up a walk and a ground ball that turned into a game-ending double play for his third save of the season.
Koors took the loss, dropping to 4-4. He allowed nine hits and two walks, striking out eight in the contest.
Seager led all players with three hits of Charlotte’s nine in the game.
It was the second series in four trips to Xavier that Charlotte has won the series, last sweeping the Musketeers in Cincinnati in 2007.
The 49ers will return home Tuesday night to face Presbyterian at 6 p.m. before playing the next five games on the road.
NOTES: Xavier’s 3-4-5 hitters were 0-for-11 with five strikeouts… Senior Michael Green had two hits and led Charlotte with seven hits for the weekend… Green leads the 49ers with a .413 batting average in 12 conference games… Basen leads the 49ers with 12 RBI in A-10 games… Lang led the A-10 entering the weekend in RBI… He now has 36 for the season… Seager doubled in the game, his team-high 15th of the season… He continues to lead the 49ers with a .367 batting average… Hudgens is 2-0 in conference, with a 2.13 ERA and 25 strikeouts, all team-leading totals… Charlotte is outscoring A-10 teams 17-7 in the eighth and ninth innings this season… Seven of Charlotte’s 12 league games have been decided by one run (5-2)… Charlotte has played 15 one-run games overall this season (9-6)… Charlotte is 7-1 in conference, 20-4 overall when collecting more hits than the opponent… Charlotte is 8-1 in league, 17-3 overall when scoring first in the game in 2013.