BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Charlotte 49ers tied a season-high with 11 runs while setting a new high with 16 hits cruising to an 11-1, seven inning victory over Florida Atlantic in Conference USA baseball action on Sunday afternoon. Conference USA league rules state a 10-run rule will take effect after seven innings due to primarily travel.
Starter Brock Hudgens picked up the win on Sunday getting credit for a complete game victory allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts. Hudgens’ seven-inning complete game marked the first time a Niner had accomplished such a feat since Spencer Steedley did it against LeMoyne back in March of 2007.
“He got us off to a great start, I’m proud of Brock’s effort” replied Head Coach Loren Hibbs afterwards. “That’s two conference weekends in a row, on the road, where we have played extremely well on Sunday against good teams.”
Charlotte started Sunday scoring mounting a two-out rally in the third taking a 3-0 lead. Derek Gallello began with a single to left before Brett Lang kept the inning alive with his single through the left side. T.J. Nichting followed with the big hit of the frame lining a double that short-hopped the wall in right scoring both Gallello and Lang for a 2-0 lead. Nichting would later score himself on Des Roberts’ RBI double to right center.
In a four-run fourth, Jordan Hudson would start with a leadoff walk and later score on Mikal Hill’s double to the gap in right-center. After a Gallello sacrifice bunt moved Hill to third with two outs, the Niners would again string together four-straight two outs hits starting with Lang’s infield single to deep short scoring Hill. Lang would score on Logan Sherer’s single to left moments later while Nichting came around on the same sequence as FAU committed an error in left on Sherer’s base knock.
The Owls would get to Hudgens (1-4) with a run in their half of the fifth to get on the board. A Kevin Abraham one-out single in the fifth was FAU’s first of the day before Mitch Morales doubled him home with a shot down the left field line.
Charlotte immediately got the FAU run back in the sixth as Gallello started with a double down the right-field line immediately scoring on Lang’s single back up the middle. The Niners would tack on their final three in the seventh to provide the 10-run advantage ultimately ending Sunday’s contest early.
As they did all throughout the series-finale, Charlotte’s final three runs would all come with two outs as Zach Jarrett kept the inning alive with a base on balls. Hill followed with a hit-by-pitch before Gallello drove home Jarrett with a single to center. Hill would move to third, Gallello to second on the throw home attempting to throw out Jarrett, allowing aggressive base running to bring in the final two runs. With Brett Lang at bat, an FAU wild pitch not only let Hill score from third, but Gallello as well hustling around from second for the final 10-run difference.
Lang and Nichting each tied career-highs with four hits in the win while Gallello added three. Charlotte’s 1-4 hitters consisting of Hill, Gallello, Lang and Nichting combined to go 12-for-18 in the victory. Out of the 11 runs scored on Sunday, 10 were tallied with two outs on the board.
“TJ’s developed as a hitter and Lang’s a guy who struggled early on in the season but he played well this weekend,” continued Hibbs. “Both of those guys work, they’re workers. We just need a few more guys to lock in and add to it. We need a couple of guys to hopefully get healthy to give us a little more depth.”
Charlotte will now head back to North Carolina and wrap up their five-game road trip at Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. with live audio for the non-conference tilt available courtesy of http://www.charlotte49ers.com.