Sophomore Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS) tossed his second complete game of the season and sophomore first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) recorded his first three-hit day and scored twice in his first game as the cleanup hitter as Charlotte outlasted Rhode Island 3-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference baseball action at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Saturday afternoon. The one-hour, 58-minute game was the shortest nine-inning game for either team this season. The win extends Charlotte's winning streak to seven games overall, five in a row at home, and gives the Niners a 19-5 record, with a 2-0 league start. Rhode Island drops to 9-10, 0-2 in conference play.
Roberts allowed a run in the first after Rhode Island loaded the bases to start the game before an out was recorded. Roberts then locked in to strike out a pair before left fielder Kevin Stenhouse, who had both RBI in Friday's Rhode Island loss, pushed across a run with a two-out infield single.
Only two Rams reached third base the rest of the day as Roberts scattered five total hits and a walk in his 115-pitch outing to improve to 5-0 this season. He struck out seven batters to push his team-leading strikeout total to 42 in six starts. His ERA sank to a conference-leading 0.84 after 43 innings this season.
Charlotte tied the game with a run in the bottom of the second. Shive hit his second double of the season to lead off the inning. He later came in to score on an RBI single to left by redshirt senior Cory Tilton (Cary, N.C. / Green Hope HS).
The 49ers took their first lead of the game with an unearned run in the fourth. Shive and designated hitter Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) recorded back-to-back singles, coupled with a fielding error to advance the runners. Tilton then lifted a sacrifice fly to score Shive again for the 2-1 lead. Tilton leads Charlotte with 27 RBI.
Shive added a single in the sixth for his three hit. Charlotte's third run came in the seventh on a suicide squeeze when catcher Miguel Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) bunted to get Tilton home from third. Tilton was the only player with a run and an RBI in the game. He had two of the four RBI for Charlotte in yesterday's victory.
The loss went to Rhode Island starter Ken Graveline (2-3). He only allowed six hits in 6.1 innings, striking out four and walking none. Two of the three runs charged to him were earned. Reliever Dan Johnson pitched the remaining 1.2 innings without allowing a baserunner.
The 49ers and Rams finish the series Sunday at noon.
NOTES: Charlotte is 17-3 at home this season, inching closer to extending the school record to six-straight seasons with 20 or more home wins... Charlotte is now 14-0 when leading after four innings and when holding the opponent to two or fewer runs... The 49ers are 18-0 when scoring three or more runs this season... The Niners outhit the Rams six to five, pushing their record to 15-0 when collecting more hits than the opponent... Roberts has Charlotte's only two complete games this season... The Niners did not record one in 2010... Roberts has allowed one earned run three times this season, not giving up a run in two other starts... It was the first time this season Roberts did not strike out either four or nine hitters... His high pitch count of the season is 118, in a 9-1 complete-game win over Ball State on March 12... He has allowed three earned runs in his last 35 innings pitched... Shive has two multi-hit games in his career... Tilton leads Charlotte with eight multi-RBI games this season... Charlotte's team ERA dropped to conference-leading 2.01 after today's game.