NORFOLK, Va. – The Charlotte 49ers tied a season-high with 11 runs for the second time this week helping secure their first victory inside Conference USA play scoring an 11-4 win over Old Dominion in Sunday’s series-finale. The Niners pounded out a season-high 15 hits, 10 coming in the final three frames, to pick up their first league win.
Trailing 4-2 entering the seventh, Charlotte (6-18-1, 1-11 C-USA) would click the offense into overdrive scoring nine runs on those 10 hits over the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. In the seventh, Zach Jarrett and Des Roberts started with back-to-back one out singles to start the threat. Later with two outs, pinch-hitter Eric Eason would line a single to right scoring Jarrett as the lead was sliced to 4-3. Mikal Hill followed on the very next pitch driving a double to center to plate both Roberts and Eason giving the Niners a 5-4 advantage.
In the eighth, Logan Sherer started with a single to left before Des Roberts smacked a RBI-triple to right-center adding insurance at 6-4. Grant Dunnegan would then make the most of his pinch-hit opportunity driving in Roberts with his base hit to right.
Charlotte wasn’t content leading 7-4 heading into the ninth. The Niners tacked on four final runs to complete their comeback in a seven-run win. Hill picked up his third hit with a single to center opening up the ninth while Corbin Shive, who nearly missed another home run in the fourth, lined his second double of the game to left-center to bring home Hill. Shive would later score on Sherer’s single to center. With the bases loaded, Patric King and Eason would draw back-to-back walks to round out the four-run frame.
“We were good under bad conditions,” remarked Head Coach Loren Hibbs postgame. “I’m proud of our guys, proud of our effort. We did alright defensively. Hunter May did a good job on the backend of the bullpen and Traugh gets his first college win, we had a good week this week.”
Earlier in the game, Old Dominion (16-11, 6-6 C-USA) took advantage of a Charlotte error in the third to push across the game’s first run. Tyler Urps drew a one-out walk and later came around on Jordan Negrini’s infield pop-up that was mishandled with the breezy conditions. Urps came all the way around to score the unearned run for the 1-0 lead.
As they did on Saturday, the Niners came right back to score two in their half of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Hill began with a leadoff walk before coming around on Shive’s double to right-center. With the wind gusting in from left, Shive was still able to one-hop the wall for his two-base hit. Shive later scored on a wild pitch to give the Niners a 2-1 lead.
Old Dominion responded to the two Charlotte runs by adding three more in the fourth grabbing a 4-2 lead before the 49ers made their late comeback over the final three frames.
Hill and Roberts each led the Niners with a 3-for-5 outing at the plate scoring two runs apiece. Hill would drive in two while Roberts plate one. Shive, Sherer and T.J. Nichting each collected two hits as Shive and Sherer each scored a pair. Eason would put together a 1-for-2 effort with a pair of RBI and run scored entering as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Nate Traugh (1-2) earned the win in relief tossing 1.2 innings with a strikeout. Ryan Mas and Matt Davis combined to throw a hitless seventh while Hunter May picked up Charlotte’s first save of the year hurling the final two frames allowing a hit and a strikeout to preserve the win.
Charlotte will now return home to Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium to open up a five-game homestand on Tuesday night. USC Upstate will come to town for a 6:00 p.m. start. The Niners will remain home throughout the weekend hosting Evansville for a four-game series beginning with a doubleheader on Friday. Game one starts at 2:00 p.m. with post-game fireworks following game two at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for this week’s matchups are available by contacting the Niners ticket office at 704-687-4949. Tickets are also available online via http://www.charlotte49ers.com.
· Charlotte’s season-high 15 hits previously tops their output of 14 in a 7-6 loss at Middle Tennessee two weeks ago. 11 runs ties the mark set at Winthrop on Tuesday.
· Logan Sherer extended his season-high hit streak to five while Corbin Shive pushed his to four. Shive has reached base safely in each of the last eight games while Sherer and Brad Elwood have reached in their last five.