For the fourth-straight game, Charlotte baseball held a lead but lost, scoring first in a 9-1 home loss to Saint Louis on Saturday in Atlantic 10 Conference baseball action. The Billikens win the series with one game to go and improve to 16-7 in the league, 36-15 overall. Charlotte has dropped its last five and slips to 20-28 on the season, 8-11 in league play.
The 49ers scored first, as they did on Friday night, posting a run on two hits and a throwing error in the third, following back-to-back singles from outfielders Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) and Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS). Clemmons scored the run for the 1-0 Niners lead.
The Billikens took the lead on a two-RBI double from catcher Connor Gandossy, who tied the game in the ninth last night with a two-RBI single in the SLU comeback victory.
Saint Louis posted another pair of runs in the fifth on an RBI double from Alex Kelly and an infield single for an RBI from third baseman Grant Nelson for a 4-1 edge.
Charlotte threatened, but left runners at third base in the third and sixth innings.
Charlotte pitching was able to get out of trouble in the sixth, stranding runners at second and third, but an error cost the Niners four unearned runs in the seventh, with Mike Vigliarolo recording a sacrifice fly for a 5-1 lead and Gandossy hitting a three-run homer to left to tally seven RBI in the two games this weekend so far.
SLU added the ninth run on two hit batters and an RBI single to left by shortstop Alec Solé for the game's final run.
The starting pitchers received the decisions in the game, with Charlotte's Joe Yermal (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh HS) taking the loss to fall to 6-5 on the season. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.2 innings, with three strikeouts.
Saint Louis' Alex Alemann stayed perfect on the season, improving to 7-0 after seven innings. He gave up the unearned run on seven hits, with four strikeouts. He did not walk a batter in the contest.
The 49ers left six on base, while SLU stranded 10 in the contest. SLU's Gandossy and Charlotte's Clemmons tied for the game-high total of three hits each.
Six 49ers student-athletes received degrees in the morning commencement ceremonies on campus.
The 49ers and Billikens will conclude the series on Sunday at noon.
NOTES: Brown, shortstop Justin Roland and first baseman Corbin Shive all recorded at least one hit in the game to extend their streaks of reaching base safely to 32, 24 and 22, respectively... Shive has a hit in seven straight games... The three-hit game was the third for Clemmons this season, tied with third baseman Shane Basen and one behind Roland for the team lead... The game was only the sixth this season in which Charlotte did not record an RBI.