Charlotte redshirt senior catcher Ross Steedley (Granite Quarry, N.C. / East Rowan HS) went a career-best 4-for-4, with two RBI and behind senior starter Chad Rothlin's (Hickory, N.C. / Fred. T. Foard HS) seven and two-thirds strong innings, the Charlotte 49ers split a Saturday home doubleheader against Wagner by capturing game two 7-3 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The 49ers are 8-3 on the season, while the Seahawks are 1-7.
The 49ers led the entire way after scoring four runs in the first inning off of freshman starter Dan Wagner. The 49ers drew three walks before four-straight batters in the line-up churned out hits, including Steedley's RBI single to right center. Freshman second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) hit his first career extra-base hit, a double down the right field line, scoring a run and completing the scoring for the frame.
In the third, Charlotte tacked on another run after a one-out triple from first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). It was the second triple of his career. Steedley brought home Shive on a double to left for a 5-0 49ers lead.
Rothlin cruised through the first four innings, allowing one walk and one hit, but facing the minimum until the fifth.
Charlotte added two more runs in the fourth for a 7-0 lead. A leadoff single from redshirt junior shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) started the inning. He stole second and scored on a double down the third base line from outfielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) still with no outs in the inning. The Seahawks allowed Brown to advance to third on a failed pickoff attempt and he scored on a double from third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS), who leads the team in batting average (.395) and RBI (9).
The Seahawks got avoided the shutout with a leadoff triple in the fifth by second baseman Nick Dini, which resulted in their first run on an RBI groundout from catcher Hayden Hunter. Wagner got another run in the sixth on a single from shortstop Eddie Brown, followed by an RBI double to right center from outfielder Chris Smith.
Wagner's third and final run was scored in the ninth on reliever Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) after a walk, a failed pickoff and an RBI double from Hunter. The run was unearned to Hudgens.
Rothlin got his first win of the season. He allowed four hits and a walk, striking out four batters.His 7.2 innings pitched tied his career high set back on April 4, 2010 in a start at Massachusetts.
Watson took the loss (0-1). He allowed eight hits and all seven Charlotte runs in three innings, with two strikeouts and three walks. Reliever Steven Bloodworth pitched the last five shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, with three strikeouts.
Shive, Elwood and freshman Derek Gallello (Fredericksburg, Va. / Riverbend HS) all had two hits for Charlotte. Smith led Wagner with two hits. Brown stole his team and league-leading tenth stolen base of the season in the contest.
The two teams finish the series Sunday at noon. A win for the 49ers will give them 20 consecutive home series victories, dating back to 2009. They currently lead the series 2-1.
NOTES: Charlotte is 6-2 at home this season... Rothlin was a late addition to the starting lineup, as sophomore Tyler Barnette could not go with a blister on his throwing hand... The 49ers have scored 15 of their 65 total runs this season in the first inning... Their production in the seventh innings is the only frame better, at 16 runs through 11 games... Charlotte has allowed 17 runs in the fifth innings of games this season, including 10 to Wagner in fifth innings of games in this series... Charlotte had led after the sixth inning in all eight wins this season, with all three losses coming when behind after the sixth frame... Charlotte has not lost when scoring seven or more runs this season (5-0).