|Baseball Loses Pair of Close Games at Missouri|
Charlotte took early leads in both games of Saturday's doubleheader at Missouri, but lost both games 5-3 and 3-2 at Taylor Stadium. The Tigers improve to 8-5 overall, dropping Charlotte to 9-7. The Tigers have won six straight, with Charlotte dropping four in a row.
Charlotte scored first with the team's second second-inning run of the season thanks in part to an infield error on the Tigers. Sophomore designated hitter Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) singled to lead off the frame and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single from freshman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS).
That score held until the fourth, when the Tigers got a run on a pair of singles off of sophomore starting pitcher Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS) to tie the game at one. Charlotte took the lead back in the fifth after a leadoff double from redshirt senior center fielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) and a steal of third led to a run on an RBI groundout from fellow outfielder J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga. / Brunswick HS).
A Niners error allowed the leadoff batter in the fifth to reach, and a pair of unearned runs scored after a second error in the inning kept the Tigers alive. A Dane Opel single scored the second of those two runs to give Missouri a 3-2 lead.
MU tacked on runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull out to a 5-2 edge. Charlotte scored a run on closer Jake Walsh in the ninth. A two-out double from Seager started the damage and a single to left from first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) plated Seager for the final run of the game.
The win went to Tigers starter Rob Zastryzny (2-1). Walsh got the save.
Barnette took his first loss of the season (1-1). He tossed five innings, allowing three runs, but onely one was earned. He gave up seven hits but no walks, with two strikeouts. Reliever Chad Rothlin pitched the final three innings, allowing three hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. He allowed two earned runs in the game.
Brown had a pair of stolen bases to get to 15 on the season, good enough to tie with Grambling's Chris Wolfe and Evansville's Eric Stamets for the national lead to this point of the season.
Charlotte scored its 20th first-inning run of the year in the first to get the early lead against Tigers starter Blake Holovach. Third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) drew a two-out walk and Seager doubled down the first base line for the lead.
Mizzou tied the game with a run in the fourth and took a 2-1 lead with a run in the fifth when second baseman Dillon tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a groundout from the next batter, Brannon Champagne.
Charlotte tied the game with a run in the fifth, nearly identically to the run in the first. Basen laced a two-out single to left and Seager doubled to the gap in right center for the two-all tie.
A leadoff solo home run by Opel in the both of the sixth proved to be the game winner, as the 49ers left the bases loaded in the seventh and could not get a base runner in the eighth or ninth innings.
Holovach got the win (2-1) in the two-hour nightcap. In 6.2 innings, he gave up five hits and three walks for his two earned runs. He also recorded four strikeouts. Walsh got a second save on the day to get to five on the season. He tossed one-two-three ninth inning.
Charlotte starting pitcher Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS) took the loss (1-2). He lasted six innings, giving up just six hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. All three runs charged to him were earned. Reliever John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) allowed two hits over the last two scoreless Tigers innings.
For the day, Seager and Tigers shortstop Evan Garcia each had four hits (two in each game). Seager's three doubles were tops among all players in the twinbill. Of Seager's eight hits for the season, sic have been for extra-base hits (five doubles, one triple).
The series finale, originally scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern, had been pushed back to 4 p.m. Eastern due to the weather forecast. Charlotte's Joe Yermal (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh HS) is slated to start opposite freshman Brandon Platts.
NOTES: Charlotte has stranded more runners on base (26-24) than the Tigers in the three games... After starting the year 8-3, the starting pitchers have all three losses in the series... The 49ers have trailed at the end of the sixth inning in all three games, with all seven season losses coming when trailing at the end of the sixth inning... Charlotte had led at the end of the sixth in all nine season victories... The 49ers are now 1-4 away from home this season... Game two was the first time that Charlotte held an opponent under five runs and did not win the game (9-1)... Charlotte is 3-7 when held to five runs or less offensively.