|Baseball Begins Busy Week With Home Game vs. Duke|
Charlotte baseball plays its final five-game week, including its last home midweek game and the start of a seven-game road swing, starting with the Tuesday night home game against Duke at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Sophomore Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS) missed his scheduled Sunday start due to rain against Saint Joseph's and will go for Charlotte, with the first pitch Tuesday at 6 p.m. On Wednesday night, Charlotte remains in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a road game at North Carolina State at 6 p.m. The 49ers will drive from Raleigh to Washington on Thursday for a weekend series at George Washington over the weekend.
ESPN730 will be on hand Tuesday night for the coverage. That audio feed will go with the video at Charlotte49ers.tv. All road games have a free internet audio Web cast at Charlotte49ers.tv audio.
Barnette will be opposed by freshman right hander Andrew Istler. Barnette is 1-2 this season, with a 4.34 earned runs average. Istler is 2-3, with a 4.81 ERA in 2012.
The 49ers split the rain-shortened series with the Hawks, with the Niners scoring seven runs in each game. Charlotte had its first three-homer game of the season, two of which were hit by junior first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C./ East Rowan HS), in an 8-7 loss Friday night. Saturday, redshirt senior Joe Yermal (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh HS) won his 29th career game in his 50th career start as the Niners took a 7-2 decision.
Charlotte had not hit three home runs in a game this season and had not produced an individual with a pair of home runs in nearly two seasons before Friday night. Yermal tied for second on the Charlotte all-time list with that 29th victory Saturday.
The Blue Devils lost two of three to No. 25 Virginia in ACC play over the weekend, Duke's fifth ranked opponent of the season (4-8 versus ranked opponents this season). The Blue Devils and 49ers played a weekday game in Durham last season after a 24-year hiatus between meetings. Duke is 1-3 against Charlotte in the all-time series.
The 49ers are 7-20 all time against the Wolfpack, but beat N.C. State twice in the NCAA Columbia, S.C. Regional the last time the two teams faced off against one another, eliminating NCSU from the postseason in 2007 in 6-3 and 12-10 victories. Charlotte played at Doak Field at Dail Park in 2008 in the 2008 NCAA Regional, but did not face the Wolfpack that weekend. The two teams have not played in that stadium since its renovation. The last time the teams met in the regular season was 2002 in Charlotte, the end of a six-game win streak by NCSU. The Wolfpack won two of three over the weekend against Boston College to start n 11-game home stand, which includes a weekend series versus Duke. Neither team has announced a starter for the Wednesday contest.
The 49ers returned a pair of important players to the lineup last weekend, getting back stolen base and batting average leader, redshirt senior outfielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS), as well as freshman utility player Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) for the two games against Saint Joseph's. Brown tied his own season high with four hits Friday and added two more hits and two runs scored on Saturday. Elwood became just the fourth played at Charlotte to record two outfield assists in one game, joining Justin Wilson (5/13/11), Chris Lane (4/22/06) and Spencer Steedley (4/12/06).
After Tuesday's game, Charlotte will not play at home until the weekend of graduation on campus in a weekend series with Saint Louis, starting Friday, May 11.