Sophomore outfielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) belted his first career home run, a three-run pinch-hit blast on top of the warehouse beyond the fence in right center to finish off a five-run ninth as Charlotte dispatched North Carolina Central 13-1 Wednesday afternoon at the Durham Athletic Park. The win was the fifth in a row for the 49ers, leveling the Charlotte road record to 2-2 as part of a 17-5 overall mark. Central fell to 1-19 with the loss.
"I figured I would go up there swinging," said Green after the game. "I haven't hit many home runs in my life, and I haven't felt like they were hit very hard, so I guess I must have been doing something right on those swings."
Charlotte is 2-0 lifetime against the Eagles, by identical 13-1 margins in the past two seasons.
The 49ers scored a run in the first and the second, both unearned to starting pitcher Douglas Dalley, who became the first Eagles pitcher in the modern era to record 100 career strikeouts. He tallied a pair to go with four walks and three hits in five innings without an earned run to take the loss (0-3).
The Eagles cut the score to 2-1 with a run on three hits in the fourth against Charlotte starter Joe Yermal (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh HS). It the only blemish of the game for Yermal, who lasted six strong innings, allowing five hits and one walk to go with four strikeouts.
Charlotte scored four runs in the sixth, including RBI doubles from catcher Miguel Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) and outfielder Cory Tilton (Cary, N.C. / Green Hope HS). Charlotte outhit the Eagles 11-5 in the contest. The Eagles committed two more errors in the sixth, as the first six runs were all unearned to Eagles pitchers.
The first earned runs of the game came in the seventh, when Charlotte plated two more, both coming home on a double from shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS), one of three Niners to record three RBI.
The 49ers put up the five on the scoreboard in the ninth, with Roland singling off the pitcher's mound with the bases loaded, Tilton adding a sacrifice fly and Green depositing a 1-0 fastball on the building to set a new career-high of three RBI.
Three 49ers relievers combined to shutout the Eagles in the last three frames.
Rodriguez tied his career high with three RBI in the contest.
Charlotte returns home to open Atlantic 10 Conference play with a weekend series against Rhode Island. The series starts Friday night at 6 p.m.
NOTES: The pinch-hit homer was the first for Charlotte since Ross Steedley did the same in last season's win over N.C. Central in Charlotte on April 21... Charlotte's team earned run average falls to 2.11 for the season.