An eight-run sixth inning propelled Charlotte to a series sweep of visiting Dayton to finish the home portion of the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule in a 12-4 Sunday result at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte finishes 10-2 at home in league play, winning the last nine conference home games. The 49ers have won eight games in a row and sit at 32-19 on the season, with a 16-5 A-10 mark, in first place by one game in the league standings. Dayton drops to 10-37-1 overall and will finish in last place in the league with a 3-21 A-10 record.
Prior to the contest, Charlotte retired the jersey of former All-American and third baseman Bo Robinson, the only 49er to collect 100 RBI in a season. He is finishing up his first year in college coaching as an assistant with the 49ers.
Pitchers were in command early as it took to the fourth inning to gets runs across, as senior shortstop Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) singled and sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) drilled a ground rule double that bounced over the fence in right center to put runners at second and third to start the inning. Junior Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) lifted a sacrifice fly to right to score Basen and with two outs, sophomore third baseman Derek Gallello (Fredericksburg, Va. / Riverbend HS) singled through the middle to drive in Elwood and a 2-0 lead.
Dayton tied the game in the fifth after Jared Broughton reached after a strikeout and an error. A walk and a single loaded the bases before shortstop Nick Weybright drew a walk to drive in an unearned run and an infield single from designated hitter Ralph Alloco tied the game at two. A bunt attempt back to the pitcher turned into a double play to end the inning.
The Flyers took the lead with a run in the sixth after a walk, a passed ball, a wild pitch and a double from second baseman Jared Broughton to make it 3-2. A single from the next batter, catcher Kyle Robinett, made it 4-3 Flyers.
The eight-run sixth started with an error, a double by Seager and singles from redshirt senior Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La. / Bossier Parish JC) and Gallello before the first out was recorded. After a walk and a hit batter drove in a run, back-to-back bases-loaded walks plated two more before Elwood drove in two with a single and Seager added a second hit in the inning to score the eighth run of the frame.
Charlotte scored two more runs and looked to cruise after Elwood doubled again and Seager drove him home with a single and his third RBI of the game. A Gallello single scored Seager to give the 49ers a 12-4 lead.
The Flyers hit a pair of homers in the ninth, a pinch-hit three-run homer by Kevin Colburn and a two-run blast from Ryan Berry to complete the scoring.
Charlotte reliever Jason Harris (Austin, Tex. / Barton County CC) got the win in relief. He pitched to two batters, giving up a hit and striking out one to improve to 2-4. It was the 15th win for the bullpen, but the first since April 20th.
The loss went to Dayton starter Parker Schrage, who dropped to 1-10 on the season. In 5.1 innings, he allowed eight runs, seven of them earned, on seven hits and a walk. He struck out two hitters.
Charlotte reliever Wes Hatley (Norwood, N.C. / South Stanly HS) got his third save of the season. He finished the contest by retiring the two batters he faced. He struck out one in the contest.
Seager, Elwood and Gallello led all players with three hits, with Seager and Dayton’s Colburn tying for the game-high total of three RBI. Charlotte was outhit by the Flyers for just the sixth time this year in a league game, with the Niners winning for the second time in that situation.
Charlotte junior starter Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) got a no-decision in the contest. He allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out seven batters in 5.2 innings and three of the four runs charged to him were earned.
The 49ers host High Point Tuesday night before heading to second-place Saint Louis for a three-game series to end the regular season. If the Niners win two games in the series, they will clinch the top seed in the following week’s tournament and at least a share of the tournament title, holding the tiebreaker over La Salle.
Charlotte is 13-0 in conference when scoring four or more runs… 21-0 overall this season when plating six or more… Charlotte won its third game this season (3-14) when having fewer hits than the opponent… Charlotte is now 24-3 when scoring first in the game this year… Charlotte has a team earned run average of 2.00 over the eight-game winning streak… Elwood is hitting .522 (16-for-20), with team-bests of nine runs scored and five walks in that stretch… Charlotte’s bullpen has won six of the 16 conference games for the 49ers… The Niners crossed the 30,000-fan mark at home for a school-record fourth consecutive season… Charlotte is just 271 fans away from tying the all-time single-season attendance mark with Tuesday’s home finale left to go.