CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte 49ers baseball team returns home on Friday to kick-off a three-game weekend series with the Creighton Blue Jays out of the Big East. The Niners are set to begin their season-long ten-game homestand at 4:00 p.m. Friday before game two Saturday at 2:00 p.m. followed by a 1:00 p.m. series-finale on Sunday. This weekend marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools in baseball.
Charlotte (2-4) returns to Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium after dropping a pair of road games in Charleston on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday against the College of Charleston, the Niners committed three errors in the 5-2 loss with two of those three coming in a four-run third for the Cougars. All four runs were unearned and crossed the plate with two outs on the board.
Zach Jarrett’s RBI single in the third and Brad Elwood’s run-scoring single to center in the fifth accounted for both Charlotte runs. The 49ers did out-hit the Cougars 9-8 despite the loss led by T.J. Nichting’s 3-for-4 efforts recording a triple and pair of singles.
On Wednesday, the Niners carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth before The Citadel rallied for a six-run frame to steal an 8-4 victory. After the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Charlotte came right back with two of their own in the fifth thanks to a Grant Dunnegan RBI single to left and an Elwood sacrifice fly to right.
A pinch-hit sac-fly to right off the bat of Corbin Shive gave the 49ers a 3-2 lead as Jarrett scored the go-ahead after reaching with a one-out single in the sixth. In the seventh, insurance at the time, in the form of a Mikal Hill single that plated Nichting would lead to the 4-2 advantage. Charlotte recorded a dozen hits for the third time this season in the loss. Six of those 12 hits were infield singles against The Citadel.
Creighton (2-4) enters the weekend after a series-win over Minnesota taking two-of-three from the Gophers in a neutral site series in Fort Myers, Florida. The Blue Jays recorded 12 hits in their 11-4 victory on Saturday, their first of the year, before five hurlers combined on a four-hit shutout during Sunday’s 8-0 victory over the Gophers. Creighton had started the year 0-4 after dropping the Minnesota series-opener 10-5.
Tickets for the weekend tilt with Creighton are available by calling the Charlotte 49ers ticket office at 704-687-4949. Live stats along with live audio/video will be available for the weekend series with Creighton through http://www.charlotte49ers.com. Game updates will also be available via Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
Friday: RHP Ryan Butler (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Taylor Elman (0-1, 3.86)
Saturday: RHP Corey Roberts (0-0, 1.35) vs. RHP Matt Warren (1-0, 2.70)
Sunday: RHP Brock Hudgens (0-0, 1.00) vs. LHP Jeff Albrecht (0-0, 0.00)
NINER NOTES vs. CREIGHTON
· T.J. Nichting is currently 8th in Conference USA with his team-best .438 average through six games. Charlotte opponents are only hitting .087 against right-handed reliever Nate Traugh which is third best inside Conference USA.
· Four players currently have hit streaks of three or more in progress entering the weekend. Zach Jarrett and Brett Lang stand at six each hitting safely in every game so far this season, while Brad Elwood and T.J. Nichting stand at four and three respectively.
· Charlotte had recorded double-digit hits in four of their first six games including a season-high 12 on three different occasions. Ironically, the Niners are just 2-2 in those four contests.