Charlotte scored six runs in the third inning and cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Tuesday night at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The 49ers have won their last four home games and improve to 10-2 on the season. Tech has dropped three in a row and is 4-9 this season.
Designated hitter J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) had hits in his first two at bats and drove in his first career RBI, what proved to be the game-winning run in the third inning. He is 3-for-3 for his young career so far for the 49ers.
Elseser reached on an infield single in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Corey Shaylor (Charlotte, N.C. / Independence HS) in the first to get the 49ers on the board to a 1-0 lead. Charlotte is outscoring opponents 15-6 in the first innings this season.
The Golden Eagles tied the game with an unearned run in the third inning. First baseman Zach Stephens doubled down the third base line to score Chad Orberacker from second for TTU's only run of the day.
The 49ers batted around in the third, starting with a bunt single from shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) and an infield single by outfielder Cory Tilton (Cary, N.C. / Green Hope HS) for Elseser, who singled home Roland with a grounder through the right side of the infield for the 2-1 lead. Charlotte loaded the bases after a walk and pushed a run across when Shaylor was hit by a pitch. Right fielder Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) then walked to drive in another run and an RBI groundout by first baseman Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) brought in the fourth run of the inning. Catcher Ross Steedley doubled to the left center field gap to score two more runs and give Charlotte a 7-1 lead.
Shaylor drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth for the 8-1 lead. He led all players with three RBI for the game, doing so without a hit. Elseser and Steedley led the 49ers with two hits each. Elseser's pair of runs scored led all players.
Stephens had a game-high three hits for TTU, which outhit Charlotte 9-8 on the day. It was the second win of the season in which the Niners were outhit by their opponent.
Charlotte freshman Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) got the win (2-0) after 4.1 innings due to his being on a pitch count in the game. He left with the 6-1 lead, scattering four hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.
The loss went to TTU starter Jake McWhirter (0-1). He left after two innings and six batters in the third, giving up five hits and three walks. All seven runs charged to him were earned. He has one strikeout.
Charlotte's Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) struck out a career-high five over the final 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
The two teams are scheduled to play again on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte is 6-0 when scoring first this season... All 10 of Charlotte's wins have come when scoring three or more runs this season... The 49ers have not allowed a run in either the eighth or ninth innings this season... Tennessee Tech left 13 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice... Seager has a hit in all six of his collegiate games, the longest active streak on the team... Steedley's two hits puts his batting average at a team-best .382 (13-for-34).