49ers starting pitcher Andrew Smith (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) allowed just one run in 8.1 innings, tying his career-high strikeout total with 10, but the No. 25 Charlotte 49ers fell 3-0 at home to Richmond to start a three-game series at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Friday night. The win improves the Spiders to 23-19-2 overall, and a 10-6 Atlantic 10 Conference mark. Charlotte falls to 34-11, 13-6 in league play.
Charlotte had not been shutout in its last 60 contests, dating back to April 28 of last season.
The first run of the game came on a leadoff homer to start the third inning by third baseman Jacob Mayers. The blast came on a 2-2 pitch and the ball cleared the fence to the left of the batter's eye in center. It was his second of the season.
That run held until the ninth, when Richmond was able to load the bases against three different Charlotte pitchers with just one out. At that point, first baseman Billy Barber pushed a single through the left side of the infield to score two runs.
Charlotte stranded seven on the base paths in the contest, with each team collecting four hits.
Richmond starter Bret Williams got the win and improved to 7-1. He allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings, with five strikeouts.
Spiders closer Alex Maffett collected his sixth save of the season by tossing the final two innings. He allowed one hit and struck out a pair.
Smith took the loss (8-3) despite giving up just two runs on three hits in his 8.1 innings. He allowed two walks. His season ERA rose to 1.75 after 82.1 innings pitched this season.
There were no multi-hit performances for the game. Charlotte third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) reached base in his first three trips on a bunt single and two walks. He stole second three times in the game, tying his career high for swipes in a contest and tying the team season high for individual pilfers in a game.
Barber's two RBI were the game high.
The two teams will face off Saturday at 2 p.m. Charlotte will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony, and it will honor its All-Decade team from the 2000's before the contest.
NOTES: Charlotte's team ERA is 2.29, still holding at third in the NCAA... Smith's 10 strikeouts tied his career high, set in his complete-game shutout of Saint Louis on April 15... In seven Atlantic 10 starts, Smith has a 1.41 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 51 innings... The team ERA in conference is a league-best 2.46 in 18 contests... Charlotte falls to 3-2 when tying the opponent in hits... Charlotte is 10-9 when the opponent scores first this season.