CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte 49ers baseball team gets back to action for a pair of non-conference weekday games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Niners will head south to Rock Hill, South Carolina to battle Winthrop on Tuesday night while returning home for a second matchup with UNC Asheville less than 24 hours later. Both contests will start at 6:00 p.m.
Charlotte (3-16-1) suffered their third-consecutive Conference USA sweep over the weekend as visiting East Carolina came back late in two of the three contests to further the Niners skid in league play. Charlotte took a 1-0 lead in game one on a Zach Jarrett two-out single to right carrying that lead into the seventh until ECU responded with the tying run. Eric Eason and Derek Gallello would each pick up RBI singles in the seventh to give the Niners a 3-1 lead. However, ECU responded with a run in the eighth and a back-breaking three more in the ninth to claim the 5-3 win.
In Saturday’s doubleheader, Charlotte opened up a scoreless game with their best offensive inning of the year in the bottom of the fourth. The Niners put together a five-run, seven-hit frame using six-straight to start the inning, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. The Pirates responded almost immediately with five of their own in the top of the fifth, all unearned with two outs, to regain all of the momentum. ECU would add single runs in each of the last three innings moving to an 8-5 victory. The ECU momentum continued into game two as the Pirates scored three in the first and two in the third en route to a 5-2 win. A passed ball and Brad Elwood single would lead to the two Niner runs in the eighth.
Winthrop (11-13) comes into the first of three contests against Charlotte after taking two-of-three at Coastal Carolina in Big South play over the weekend. The Eagles took Friday night’s opener 2-1 scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Coastal raced out to fast start on Saturday collecting a 9-3 win as Winthrop didn’t get on the board until their three in the ninth. Sunday saw Winthrop jump out to a big lead early scoring five runs over the first two frames cruising to an 11-3 victory in the rubber match.
T.J. Olesczuk leads the Eagles offensively hitting .432 with a team-high 11 doubles and 14 runs driven in entering Tuesday. Winthrop is hitting .239 as a team with a staff ERA of 3.62. Charlotte is currently hitting .237 as a squad with a pitching ERA of 4.41. RHP Corbin Shive (0-2, 3.75) will make the start for Charlotte while the Eagles counter with RHP Jason Driver (2-1, 2.12).
UNC Asheville (7-15) will return to Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium for the second time this season on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs scored five unanswered runs back on March 5th to claim at 5-1 victory over the Niners. UNCA recently took two-of-three from Gardner-Webb at home over the weekend starting with a 4-3 win on Friday coming back to score three in the bottom of the eighth. Gardner-Webb returned the favor on Saturday scoring three in the top of the ninth to storm back for a 7-6 win before two early runs helped send the Bulldogs to a 5-1 win in Sunday’s series-finale.
The Bulldogs see Phillip Treadway leading the way with a .329 average playing in all 22 games of 2014. UNCA hits .265 as a team going against RHP Brandon Vogler (0-0, 1.29) on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs will carry a staff ERA of 6.26 into Tuesday’s matchup at USC Upstate before traveling to Charlotte.NINER NOTES: