For the second-straight Friday night, Charlotte baseball scored the game-winning run with a walk-off hit in the ninth, this week winning 7-6 over Siena in non-conference baseball action at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Junior Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) blasted his conference-leading tenth double of the season to score senior Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) for the walk-off win. Charlotte improved to 11-5 on the season, as the Saint slide to 3-10.
What started out as a game of dueling shutouts became a test of bullpens as both teams scored six in a half-inning in the latter stages of the game. The first five innings took less than 50 minutes as both pitchers mowed through the lineup the first two trips through.
After just two hits through five innings, the 49ers started the sixth inning with four straight hits including senior center fielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) driving in the first two runs with a single for the first runs of the game. Another hit and a walk loaded the bases before a passed ball scored the third run. Another walk loaded the bases again before an RBI single from redshirt freshman designated hitter Brett Lang brought in the fourth run and redshirt senior right fielder J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) walked with the bases loaded for the RBI and 5-0 lead. After a strikeout, the leadoff hitter of the inning, redshirt sophomore catcher Patrick Raley (Franklin, Tenn.), singled for the second time in the frame, driving in Charlotte's final run of the inning.
The Saints were able to get their first hits of the game in the top of the seventh, racking up seven to score six runs and tie the game. The first run scored on a throwing error, but four Saints batters collected RBI, including two on a double from second baseman Mike Allen.
Basen was hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth before Seager drilled a 1-1 pitch over the left fielder's head to score Basen all the way from first to win the game.
Charlotte relievers Hunter May (Cornelius, N.C. / Pitt CC) and Jordan Hudson (Lexington, N.C. / West Davidson HS) allowed just one hit in the final 2.1 innings to hold the score tied until the walk-off win.
Hudson got his first win of the season and career after 1.1 innings of perfect relief, recording one strikeout.
The loss went to reliever Carlos Cabrera, who fell to 0-1 this season. He allowed the hit batter and double to score the game-winning run. He also recorded a strikeout in the ninth inning, pitching two-third of an inning.
Charlotte starter Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) did not allow a hit in the first five innings. He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs, striking out four and walking one batter.
Siena starter Matt Gage was equally good through five, but could get an out in the sixth, charged with six earned runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out five in the game.
Seager and Green finished with a game-high three hits, which set a new career high for Green. Green and Siena's Allen were the only two players in the game with two RBI.
Charlotte and Siena will continue the series with a doubleheader Saturday at noon.
NOTES: Seager's was fifth in the country for doubles per game through games played last Sunday... The NCAA releases updated statistics once per week... Second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) drew a walk, but was held hitless for the first time this season, ending his career-long hit streak at 16 games. He has reached base safely in 17 straight... Green has reached base safely in all 13 games in which he has played this season, and has the current team-best hit streak of six games... Hudson's win was the seventh for the bullpen (7-2) this season... The bullpen earned run average is 2.59, allowing 23 runs in 66 innings pitched... May has appeared in 11 of the team's 16 games this season... Charlotte is 7-0 in games in which it has an inning scoring three runs or more... Charlotte is 7-0 when it scores more than five runs in a game this season.