|Baseball Tries to Hold Onto First in Dayton Series|
Charlotte will finish off the home portion of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Schedule with a three-game weekend series against Dayton at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte will be hosting a pre-game ceremony before each game of the series as well as the University holding Graduation ceremonies throughout the day on Saturday, with a handful of 49ers walking and receiving diplomas that day.
The 49ers have won five in a row, all conference games, to pull to a three-way tie for first in the league at 13-5. The 49ers are 29-19 on the season, one win away from the program’s 17th 30-win season in 35 years of collegiate baseball. Dayton enters with a win on Tuesday against Ohio university to get to 10 wins, at 10-35-1 overall. The Flyers, the 2012 A-10 Champions, are 3-18 and in last place in the league standings. With one more week left to play, the Flyers are completing their A-10 docket, having the last week of the regular season as their league open date.
The series opener is Military Spouses Day, with free admission for military members and/or their spouses.
Friday, the 49ers will bestow the 2012 Team MVP to Shane Brown in a pregame ceremony. Brown won the league batting title last year, becoming the fifth 49er, and the second in the A-10, to lead the league with a .365 batting average, which came down to the last day of the regular season last year.
Junior Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) will start the opening game of the series. Barnette held Butler scoreless through six innings last week in a 6-1 win to open that series in his previous appearance. He got his first conference win to sit at 4-3 this season. He has 54 strikeouts and 21 walks with his 4.03 earned run average. He will be opposed by sophomore Noah Buettgen. The right hander is 1-8 this season, with a 3.40 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 22 walks.
Saturday, the 49ers will honor the outgoing seniors and their parents in a pregame ceremony in the annual Senior Day game. One senior honored that day, who also receives his diploma that morning, will be Saturday starter John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio). The lefty is also 4-3 this season, posting a 3.45 ERA, with 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in his first season as a starter. Dayton will send redshirt junior righty Joe Wahl to spoil the festivities. Wahl is 2-5, with a 3.55 ERA, 27 strikeouts and 17 walks this season.
On Sunday, Charlotte will retire the jersey of former All-American and current assistant Bo Robinson, who is in his first season as an assistant with the program. This event was postponed last Sunday due to rain. Robinson is the only 49ers in team history to collect 100 RBI in a season and was the third player to win a batting title at Charlotte. His .424 average is the second-highest in a season in team history.
Charlotte will run junior right hander Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford) to the hill to conclude the series. Hudgens, winner of three A-10 Pitcher of the Week awards in the last four weeks, tossed a one-hit shutout last Saturday in game two of a doubleheader against Butler. It was the 49ers first complete game of the season and the first one-hitter since 2007. Hudgens is 6-0, including 4-0 in A-10 starts, leading the team with a 2.69 ERA and 64 strikeouts. He has walked 26 batters this season. Dayton will counter with senior right hander Parker Schrage. Schrage is 1-9, with a 6.75 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 25 walks.
Dayton owns a 10-5 margin over Charlotte in the all-time series, with the Niners winning five of the nine games played in Charlotte in the series history.
Charlotte has outscored opponents by a 34-8 margin in the last five games, with a team batting average of .368, while holding opponents to a .198 average. The team ERA is 1.40, with the three starting pitchers posting a 0.75 ERA in the last five contests. A series victory would be the 40th in the seven-year history of the stadium.
Charlotte has surpassed the 30,000-fan mark for a school-record four consecutive seasons. The 49ers are just 3,041 fans away from setting the all-time attendance record by total fans attending. That is an average of just 761 per game, while the Niners are averaging just over 1,000 per game (1,064) with this series and a Tuesday night home finale left on the docket.
Charlotte will host the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, starting Wednesday, May 22.
For tickets to these last four home dates or the A-10 Championships, contact the 49ers Ticket Office at (704) 687-4949 or go online to Charlotte49ers.com or stop by the box office at Hayes Stadium.