The Charlotte 49ers ended in a three-way tie for the league's regular-season championship, their fifth title in eight years of membership, and will play as the second seed in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball Championship, to be held May 22-25 at Charlotte’s Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium.
Charlotte will take on seventh-seeded Richmond on Wednesday afternoon in the day's second game, scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.
After capturing a share of its second consecutive regular season title, Saint Louis is the top seed, earning a bye to Thursday.
SLU, Charlotte and Rhode Island all finished the season with identical 17-7 league records. Since the three teams did not all play each other during the regular season, the initial tie was broken by winning percentage against common opponents, which put URI (.444) into the third slot. Charlotte and Saint Louis each had .900 winning percentages after the initial tie-breaker. By virtue of its head-to-head series win over Charlotte this weekend, Saint Louis was awarded the top-seed, while the host 49ers will be seeded second.
The league plays an eight-week schedule, with each team facing eight of the other 14 league opponents, advancing seven to the tournament.
Saint Louis which is 36-18 overall, seeks its third A-10 crown (2006, 2010) and enters this week’s Championship boasting a league best .295 team batting average, while the Billiken pitching staff has registered a 3.64 ERA which is third best in the league. Alex Kelly paces the SLU offense as he leads the A-10 with nine home runs and 48 RBI on the season. Saint Louis faced three of the other six teams in the field in the regular season, finishing 5-4 in those games.
Charlotte earns its fifth regular season crown in its eighth and final year in the A-10. The 49ers fashion a 34-21 record heading into the Championship. The 49ers have won 10 of their last 12 games and feature a pitching staff that posted a second-best 3.14 ERA is the A-10 and includes three-time Pitcher of the Week Brock Hudgens who finished 6-1 with a 2.71 ERA. The 49ers are led on offense by Justin Seager who is tied for the league lead with 77 hits and has an A-10 best 21 doubles, while also ranking in the top-5 in batting average (.363), slugging percentage (.505), on-base percentage (.457) and runs scored (44). Charlotte tied with Richmond by taking on four of the other six teams in the Championship, taking an 8-4 mark against those teams.
Rhode Island (34-22) earns its second regular season title and its first since 2006. The Rams rely on a pitching staff that has accounted for an A-10 best 3.08 ERA for the season. The one-two punch of Sean Furney and Mike Bradstreet atop the rotation have combined for 13 wins this season, while freshman southpaw Steve Moyers has gone 4-1 for the Rams. Tim Caputo leads the Rams with a .299 batting average, while his 64 hits is 13th best in the league and he is tops in the A-10 with 47 runs scored. The Rams only faced Xavier among the league tournament qualifiers, dropping two of three in Cincinnati. The rest of the Rhode Island league schedule featured teams unable to finish above .500 in league play.
Fourth-seeded Xavier (30-24/16-8) faced three teams in the field in the regular season, with a 5-4 mark. Fifth-seeded George Washington (25-30/15-9) was 3-6 against three of the opponents in the bracket, winning those last three in the final weekend at home against La Salle. Sixth-seeded La Salle (24-27/15-9) ended 1-5 against GW and Richmond, while the seventh-seeded Richmond (30-22/13-11) squad tied with Charlotte by facing four of the top six teams in the standings, managing an 8-4 mark in those series.
This year’s Championship will feature four games on Wednesday and Thursday, with three scheduled to be played Friday before Saturday’s noon championship, with a potential 3:30 “if necessary” game in the double-elimination format.
Xavier and George Washington will open up the Championship on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., with the winner advancing to take on Saint Louis Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Charlotte and Richmond will face off at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by Rhode Island at La Salle at 5:00 p.m. The losers of game two and game three will meet in Wednesday’s nightcap at 8:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
Tickets for all four days of the Championship are available for $36 in the reserved seating area and $24 in general admission seating. Single day tickets may also be purchased for $12 (reserved), $8 (general admission), or $2 (groups of 10 or more - must be purchased in advance). For ticket purchases contact the 49ers athletic ticket office at 704.687.4949 or click here. Tickets may be purchased on game day at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium one hour prior to the start of the first game each day (excluding group tickets). Admission for A-10 students is FREE with a valid member institution University ID.
Each game of the 2013 A-10 Baseball Championship can be viewed live via web stream on the Atlantic 10’s online home -- www.atlantic10.com.