NORFOLK, Va. – Charlotte erased an early 1-0 lead by Old Dominion with a two-run fourth inning but it wasn’t enough as the Monarchs claimed a 6-2 victory over the Niners in Conference USA action on Saturday afternoon. Corbin Shive would smash his team-leading third homer of the year to help start the Niners’ fourth inning offense.
Old Dominion would get on the board first with a run in the second before Charlotte responded to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Taylor Ostrich led off the Monarch second with a triple off the top of the wall in left before scoring moments later on P.J. Higgins’ single to left.
The Niners responded in their half of the fourth as Shive crushed his lead-off homer to left getting the contest squared at one. Derek Gallello would follow with a single to center on the next pitch and move to second on a Monarch wild pitch. After Logan Sherer singled Gallello to third, Des Roberts would execute the safety-squeeze to perfection getting a base hit and RBI out of his bunt as Gallello scored to put the Niners on top 2-1.
Sherer’s at-bat in the fourth would chase starter Tommy Alexander from the game after going three-plus innings allowing two runs on four hits. Sherer would end up leading the Niners offensively going 3-for-4 with three singles while Gallello added a single and a double with a run scored.
“He’s really swinging the bat well,” commented Head Coach Loren Hibbs in reference to Shive’s homer. “He’s had limited practice time with his classes but he’s been able to get that time in BP or in game situations. He’s a guy that works extremely hard, we need more guys to learn from him.”
The Monarchs immediately responded to Charlotte’s two runs with a pair of their own in the fourth to re-take a one-run advantage. Mike Perez would pick up a RBI single to score P.J. Higgins while Perez himself would move to third on a throwing error by the Niners. A wild pitch by Ryan Butler would eventually bring in Perez with the go-ahead run leading to a 3-2 ODU lead after four.
ODU would add insurance in the sixth as Perez struck again with a RBI double scoring Ostrich to start. Later in the inning with two outs, Nick Walker came up with the big hit delivering a two-out single to center scoring both Higgins and Perez for the four-run lead.
Ostrich and Higgins would each collect three hits and score two runs for Old Dominion on Saturday. Dean Ally and Connor Overton combined to keep the Niners scoreless the rest of the way allowing a combined five hits with four strikeouts over the final six innings. Micah Wells and Hunter May would do the same for Charlotte over the final two-and-a-third innings.
“Sherer has also played pretty well on the weekend,” continued Hibbs. “He’s had some good times and bat times but has some ability. He’s hasn’t really been phased by the level of competition here in Conference USA. As a team, we’re still not where we need to be to play at this level.”
The third and final game of the weekend series will take place on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. Charlotte will send RHP Brock Hudgens (0-3, 4.04) to the hill against ODU southpaw Andy Roberts (2-0, 2.70). All multimedia links for Sunday’s series-finale are available through http://www.charlotte49ers.com. All in-game updates will be provided via Twitter following @49erGameDay and @Charlotte49ers.