|Temple Overtakes Charlotte Baseball Late, 6-4|
Charlotte fought back to take a lead in the sixth inning, but Temple scored four in the eighth to secure a comeback win 6-4 for the Owls first conference win of the season Saturday to even an Atlantic 10 baseball series at one game each. Charlotte slips to 15-20 on the season, 3-8 in league play, while Temple improves to 13-21, 1-7 in the A-10.
The Owls touched up Charlotte starter Joe Yermal (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh HS) for two runs in the second on a double, a walk and a two-RBI triple, but freshman outfielder Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) doubled in shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS), who had singled, both with two outs to pull the Niners to within one, at 2-1 after three.
Yermal settled in after that point, retiring 15 of the next 18 batters, including a double play to end the third, as the offense came alive.
Charlotte went to the top of the order again for two runs in the sixth to take the lead. Roland hit a leadoff single through the left side for Clemmons, who hit his second triple of the season and the series with a ball down the right field line to tie the game with the RBI. He scampered home on a ball four to designated hitter Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS), when the pitch got away from the catcher for a wild pitch and the Charlotte lead.
The 49ers tacked on another run in the seventh after a Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) leadoff double. He scored on a single in the next at bat from outfielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS), his second hit of the season, for the 4-2 margin.
The Owls got to Yermal again in the eighth, with two hits and a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Third baseman Steve Nikorak then doubled past third to clear the bases. He later scored on the 49ers' lone error of the day for the 6-4 lead and the final run of the game.
Yermal took the loss (4-3) in his 49th career start. He is two starts away from tying Ryan Baker and Adam Mills for the most in school history. He gave up seven hits in seven innings, allowing three walks and five earned runs.
Temple reliever Steve Visnic got the win (2-1). He pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a pair of hits, with one strikeout. Temple closer Brian Sustersic earned his fifth save of the season, striking out the last two hitters of the game.
Charlotte recorded 10 hits, two more than the Owls in the game. Clemmons' career-high three hits led all players in the game. Roland had the game-high total of two runs scored. Nikorak's three RBI were the most of any player in the game.
Charlotte and Temple will finish the series with the clinching game Sunday at noon.
NOTES: Clemmons entered the series with five hits this season and is 5-for-6 so far in the series, with five straight hits from Friday to his first three at bats Saturday, with two doubles and two triples, four runs scored and four RBI... He has also walked twice and has stolen three bases. His season average has gone from .119 to .208 in two games... The loss was the second all season for Charlotte when leading after seven innings, both taking place this week (Wake Forest on Wednesday)... Since being moved into the leadoff spot in the order, Roland has reached base eight times in 10 plate appearances.