Charlotte baseball recorded more hits then Missouri Friday night, but the Tigers scored more runs in a 10-4 series opener at Taylor Stadium in non-conference college baseball action. Charlotte has lost its last two games and is 9-5. The Tigers improve to 6-5, winners of four-straight games.
The 49ers took the lead in the first with its 19th first-inning run of the season. Leadoff batter Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) singled and stole his conference-leading 13th base of the season. He scored on an RBI single from third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS). Basen leads the team with 12 driven in this season. The 19 first-inning runs are the most in any inning for Charlotte so far this season.
The Tigers roared back to score three in the bottom half, including a pair of unearned runs on a key Charlotte error. In the second, Missouri scored a fourth run after a hit batter, walk and RBI single to center from senior third baseman Connor Mach.
In the third, Charlotte scored two more on four hits, but Basen was thrown out trying to score from first on a double from first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). That pulled the game to a 4-3 margin.
The Niners got the bases loaded in the fifth, which chased starting pitcher Eric Anderson from the game with two outs. Reliever Jeff Emens came in and got a groundout to escape the inning without allowing a score.
Charlotte starting pitcher Andrew Smith (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) hit his third batter of the game to lead off the fifth inning. That runner scored after a single, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI groundout for a 5-3 score.
But the two-run deficit grew in the seventh, with Missouri scoring three runs before Charlotte recorded an out and five runs total because of two hits, two hit batters and three 49ers errors. That made it 10-3 Tigers.
Charlotte scraped across its fourth run of the day in the ninth when freshman second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) tripled to start the frame. An RBI groundout from pinch hitter Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) plated Elwood as the game's final scoring play.
Smith took his first loss of the season (3-1). He gave up just three earned runs in five innings of work, with three strikeouts and two walks. His earned run average climbed slightly to 3.86 for the season.
Emens got the win in relief (2-0). He finished out the final 4.1 innings to save the rest of the bullpen for the weekend.
Four 49ers had two hits, as Charlotte out hit the Tigers 12-8 in the game.
The two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.
NOTES: Charlotte has hit 25 batters so far this season, more than half of last season's 49 total through the first quarter of this year... The 49ers gave up eight runs in the game and average just 6.2 hits allowed per game this season... Monday, the 49ers were fourth in the nation in that category in the first NCAA statistical rankings release of the season.