Sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) dropped a walkoff, RBI single into left in the bottom of the ninth to score senior outfielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) and complete a furious comeback as Charlotte baseball defeated 2012 College World Series participant Kent State 5-4 Friday night at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in non-conference baseball action. The win gave Charlotte its tenth-straight home victory and improved the 2013 record to 10-2. The Golden Flashes drop their fourth one-run game of the season and fall to 2-10.
With the game tied at four in the ninth, Green got the inning started with his second walk of the day. After a flyout, he advanced to second on a groundout from junior outfielder Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) for the second out of the inning. Elwood then flared a 1-1 pitch from reliever Brian Clark out to shallow left and Green beat the throw home to end the game.
Charlotte scored the last five runs of the game and got its first win this season when trailing after seven innings. Junior starting pitcher Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) and freshman reliever Sean Geoghegan (High Point, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) combined to retire the last 16 Golden Flashes batters, not allowing a baserunner in the last five and a third innings.
The Golden Flashes posted single unearned runs in the first and third innings for a 2-0 lead. Kent State then scored two earned runs in the fourth on three singles to make it 4-0. Derek Toadvine and Evan Campbell each collected an RBI in the inning.
Charlotte got a run on three hits in the fourth. Seager singled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on an RBI double by junior first baseman Grant Dunnegan (Clearwater, Kan. / Hutchinson CC) to make it a 4-1 game.
The 49ers put up another run in the fifth when Green scored on an infield hit from Seager to close the gap to two runs.
The 49ers tied the game with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth. Elwood singled to lead off the frame before a walk to designated hitter Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS). A bunt by Dunnegan was thrown away to score the first run and pinch runner Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) scored from third on an RBI single from redshirt senior outfielder J. J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) to tie the game and set up the exciting ninth.
Geoghegan got the first win of his career (1-0) after tossing three perfect innings, striking out four on 35 pitches. He has allowed just two hits in 4.2 innings pitched this season, with five strikeouts and a walk.
Barnette struck out five over six innings, allowing seven hits and a walk on 106 pitches. Two passed balls and an error allowed two of the four runs against him to be unearned.
Clark took the first loss of his season after 1.2 innings. He allowed three hits and two walks, with the two runs charged to him in the eighth going unearned.
Kent State starter Tyler Skalina struck out nine in seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and a walk over 97 pitches.
Charlotte's Green and Kent State's Toadvine had two runs scored to lead all players, while Elwood had the game-high total of three hits.
The two teams will play game two of the weekend series Saturday at a special start time of 3 p.m. Fans with a ticket to the 7 p.m. men's basketball regular-season finale against Saint Joseph's will get in free to baseball.
NOTES: Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) pushed a single through the left side of the infield in the seventh to extend his career-long hitting streak to 21 games, dating back to last season... Elwood has a hit in all 12 games this season and has a 13-game hit streak still active... Dunnegan and shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) both doubled, giving Charlotte 27 doubles on the season to this point... The Niners were tied at 19th in the nation in doubles per game as of games played through last Sunday... Seager's run scored in the fourth was his team-best 16th and his RBI single in the fifth pushed his team-high total to 15 runs driven in... The bullpen has six of Charlotte's 10 wins... Opponents have just a .197 batting average against Charlotte's bullpen in 45 innings this season... Charlotte has a batting average of .333 against opposing bullpens in 2013.