|Baseball Faces Coastal for First Time Since 1994|
Charlotte baseball concludes a five-game road swing Tuesday afternoon against Coastal Carolina at Ticket Return.com Field at Pelicans Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Construction to the on-campus stadium forced a scheduled move to the pro park, home of the Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League. The 49ers and Chanticleers have played 22 times, split at 11 wins each, but the programs have not played one another since 1994.
This season, Charlotte enters the midweek contest at 26-19 overall, while the Chanticleers are 27-17 after week 11 of the regular season.
Charlotte won its last two games, both on the road at Temple over the weekend, to climb into a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings, at 10-5. The 49ers scored five runs in the first inning Sunday in their last game, the most productive first inning this season to cruise to a 10-2 win. Charlotte collected 16 hits in both of the last two games. The 49ers are just 7-10 on the road, but are 24-9 in games that start before 6 p.m.
Coastal split a Friday doubleheader at Presbyterian before winning Sunday in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. The Chants are 17-11 at home in this nomadic state playing away from home in nearby Conway. The Chants are 2-4 in their last six, not logging a double-digit hit contest or scoring more than five runs in that span. Coastal has been challenged at the plate, with just two players batting over .300 this season, while pitching has been the strong suit, with the team ERA sitting at 3.04 so far. Teams don’t want to see closer Ryan Connolly, who has 10 saves, a 3-3 record and a 1.36 ERA in 21 appearances.
Charlotte’s Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) hit two doubles on Saturday at Temple to pull into a tie for the A-10 Conference lead with 18 total doubles. He is tied for 11th in the country in that category as of Monday’s NCAA stats release through games played during the weekend. Seager also leads the league with 37 runs scored and is second with 60 hits recorded. Senior Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) pulled to a tie with redshirt freshman Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) for the conference lead with 38 RBI each.
Charlotte redshirt junior Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS) will start the game on Tuesday in Myrtle Beach. Roberts had his best outing of the year in relief on Friday. He has no record and a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched. He has eight strikeouts and five walks in limited action this season. After two big seasons to start his career, Roberts is ranked in the Top 20 all-time at Charlotte in the ERA, strikeouts, walks per nine innings, starts and innings pitched. His 4.1 innings on Friday gave fans a glimpse back into his previous successes.
Coastal counters with sophomore lefthander Austin Kerr. He is 2-1 in 21 appearances and one start, with a 2.48 ERA, 27 strikeouts and nine walks in 29 innings of work. He took that only loss of the year a few weeks ago in a 5-1 decision to No. 1 North Carolina on April 16. Kerr held the Tar Heels hitless through five innings and gave up only a walk, a triple and a sac fly to quickly go down 2-1 before giving way to the bullpen.
The 49ers return home this weekend to start a seven-game home stand with a weekend series against Butler, starting Friday night at 6 p.m. The two teams are among four squads knotted up with a 10-5 record in the third-place tie in the standings.