Charlotte pitching held the Fordham Rams to just six hits and one earned run, but the 49ers could muster only one run in a pitching battle as the No. 28 49ers lost 2-1 to open an Atlantic 10 Conference series at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Friday night in cold and misty rain. Charlotte is now 29-9 on the season, 9-4 in the A-10. Fordham improves to 24-13 on the season, 7-3 in the league. The Rams have won seven straight, while Charlotte's home winning streak was stopped at six.
Rams starter Brian Pendergast did a masterful job on the mound, limiting the 49ers to just two hits in his 7.1 innings. He walked four and struck out four on the night. The win moved his record to 2-5.
The Rams got on the scoreboard first with an unearned run after two hits and a 49ers error. Catcher Ryan David drove in Nick Martinez from second on a single to center for a 1-0 lead. The second run for Fordham came in the third, on a solo home run from outfielder Stephen McSherry, his second of the season.
The 49ers got their two hits for the game in the sixth inning, scoring outfielder Justin Wilson (Canton, N.C. / Pisgah HS) on an infield hit from second baseman Corey Shaylor (Charlotte, N.C. / Independence HS).
Wilson now has a 10-game hitting streak, the longest by any Charlotte player this season.
Charlotte starter Andrew Smith (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) lasted seven innings, allowing an earned run on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He took his first conference loss of the season, and is now at 7-2 overall.
Fordham rightfielder and closer Tim Swatek got the final two outs for his fourth save of the season.
The 49ers and Rams will play game two of the series Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte's team ERA dropped to 2.05. The 49ers were second in the nation in that category entering the weekend... Smith lowered his ERA to 1.34 on the season... In five league starts, he has allowed just two earned runs and has a 0.50 ERA.