|Baseball Walks Off in 11th to Win Asheville Series|
After UNC Asheville plated the go-ahead run with the bases loaded in the top of the 11th, Charlotte scored two runs in the bottom of the inning, capped off by an RBI infield single from junior first baseman grant Dunnegan (Clearwater, Kan. / Hutchinson CC) as the 49ers walked off to an 8-7 victory to take the weekend series on Sunday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in non-conference baseball action. The win pushes Charlotte’s record to 19-11 overall, while the Bulldogs slip to 10-23.
The game was tied in the 11th after Charlotte got the bases loaded with one out on a sacrifice fly to center from redshirt freshman catcher Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) for his team-leading third RBI of the game and conference-leading 31st of the season. With two outs and a 1-2 count, Dunnegan pulled the pitch between first and second and a throw could not be made for an out and the victory.
The Bulldogs scored in the first inning, as they did on Friday and Saturday, this time with a two-run homer to right by shortstop Tommy Houmard, the only hit of the first for Asheville.
Charlotte got a run back in the bottom half when senior center fielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) singled and stole second for his 15th swipe of the season. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch in the inning.
The Niners tied the game in the second inning after a leadoff double from sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) down the left field line and a single through the middle from redshirt freshman Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) brought him home for a 2-2 score.
Asheville retook the lead in the fourth inning. Designated hitter Billy Creighton drove a double out to left center and he was bunted to third before a sacrifice fly from outfielder Todd Joyner out to center was deep enough to score him for a 3-2 score.
The Bulldogs added a fourth run in the fifth after a walk, a wild pitch and two singles, the last from Houmard for an RBI.
Charlotte got a walk and single with two outs in the bottom half of the fifth before a double from senior third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) brought both runners in to knot the contest at four.
Lang walked and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a single to left center from redshirt senior designated hitter Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La. / Bossier Parish JC) for his fourth RBI in his 12th game back from injury.
Charlotte added another run in the seventh as Lang poked a 2-2 pitch out to shallow left center to score Elwood for a second time and drive his second run of the game.
The Bulldogs got a pair of runs in the eighth to tie the game after a pair of one-out singles and a two-out two-RBI single up the middle from Todd Joyner, driving in his second and third runs of the day.
Charlotte was able to load the bases with nobody out in the ninth, but the Bulldogs were able to elicit a shallow flyout and get a ground ball double play to end the inning and force extra innings.
In the 11th, the Bulldogs got a leadoff single and flyout before a single ricocheted off the glove of pitcher Hunter May (Cornelius, N.C. / Pitt CC) and through the left side of the infield before a walk loaded the bases. Relief pitcher Jordan Hudson (Lexington, N.C. / West Davidson HS) then walked Houmard on a 3-2 count for the go-ahead run and his game-high fourth RBI of the game. Ryan Mas (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) entered with one out and got a strikeout and a fielder’s choice to end the inning and prevent further damage.
Green reached on an infield error to lead off the 11th, with a walk to Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) and a single through the left side from Elwood to load the bases for Lang, who lifted the 2-2 pitch to deep center to score Green and move Basen to third and create the opportunity for Dunnegan.
Mas got the win in relief (3-1). He faced two batters, recording the strikeout.
The loss went to reliever and designated hitter Billy Creighton (1-1). He pitched the final 2.2 innings, giving up four hits and three walks, striking out a batter. Neither run charged to him was earned.
Charlotte starter Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) did not factor in a decision. He pitched seven strong innings, scattering six hits and a walk. He struck out a season-high seven batters.
Houmard’s three hits led all players. Charlotte had five different hitters record two hits each. Green’s three runs scored led all players.
Charlotte will continue the eight-game home stand with five more contests over the next week and a half. Tuesday, the 49ers host Winthrop for a 6 p.m. contest. It will be Greek Week Night, with promotions focused on Greek Week participants. It will also be Crazy Hat Night, with the craziest and most creative hat wearer receiving a prize at the game. Reading with Norm participants that have completed the third quarter of the program can request two free tickets to this game. For more information, contact the 49ers Ticket Office at (704) 687-4949 or visit Charlotte49ers.com for more details.
NOTES: The win was Charlotte’s fourth walk-off home victory of the season, with four different players (Basen, Elwood, Seager and now Dunnegan) recording the game-winning hit… The hit was the only one for Dunnegan in six at bats, but it extended his career-long hit streak to seven games... Lang leads all 49ers with three-RBI games with four, and multiple-RBI games with nine… The two runs in the 11th were Charlotte’s first extra-inning runs of the season, with Charlotte posting a 1-1 record in extra-inning games this season… The 3:57 game time is the longest this season for the 49ers and a the longest since an 11-inning win (13-11) at Wake Forest, which took 4:16 on March 22, 2011… The hit was Dunnegan’s fifth this season with runners in scoring position (5-for-16) and two outs, recording his fifth RBI in those situations… Lang’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded was Charlotte’s 38th bases-loaded RBI this season… Three of his four sacrifice flies have come with the bases loaded for his team-leading ninth bases-loaded RBI of the season.... The win was the second for Charlotte when being outhit by the opponent (2-8)... Asheville collected one more hit (13 to 12) than Charlotte in the contest.