Charlotte baseball ends an eight-game home stand Tuesday before playing nine of the next 10 on the road Wednesday with back-to-back midweek games, home Tuesday to No. 15 North Carolina State and on the road Wednesday at local rival Winthrop. Tuesday has been designated a White Out, with fans encouraged to wear white at the contest. Both midweek games begin at 6 p.m.
The 49ers are coming off a home weekend conference sweep of George Washington to push the season record to 22-13, including a 19-7 home mark in 2013.
The Wolfpack will enter Tuesday’s contest on a 10-game win streak, which includes a road sweep at Boston College last weekend and a home sweep of Virginia Tech the weekend before. State is 28-10 overall this season and ranked No. 15 in a pair of polls released Monday. Charlotte has played NCSU twice in the last 12 months, including a last-minute game in Raleigh put together after both teams lost games to teams from out of town to snow at the start of the year. The Wolfpack won 5-0 back on February 19. This will be N.C. State’s first trip to Charlotte since May 14, 2002, meaning this will be the first matchup between the two in Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte’s last win over N.C. State was a pair of wins over the Wolfpack in Columbia, S.C. at the NCAA Regional, during which Charlotte eliminated State from the postseason. State is 22-7 in the all-time series with Charlotte, splitting their last four results.
The Eagles were swept at home by Coastal Carolina last weekend and will play at Davidson Tuesday night before hosting the 49ers. Winthrop and Charlotte also have played once this season, last Tuesday night at Hayes Stadium. Winthrop took that result late, 6-5, snapping Charlotte’s four-game win streak in the series. Winthrop is 12-25 entering this week of play. The 49ers have a 16-13-1 mark in the all-time series against the Eagles, winning eight of the last 10 in the series.
Tuesday night, Charlotte junior Jason Harris (Austin, Tex. / Barton County CC) will start for the 49ers. He is 1-3 this season, with a 3.29 earned run average. He has struck out 18 and walked 12 this season. NCSU will send senior right hander Ethan Ogburn to the hill. He has a 2-2 mark, with a 3.62 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 10 walks in 2013.
Wednesday, Charlotte will send freshman Micah Wells (Pfafftown, N.C. / Mt. Tabor HS) to the mound in Rock Hill. He is 0-2, with a 3.00 ERA, striking out seven and walking 11 this season. He will be opposed by Eagles redshirt freshman lefty Sam Kmiec. He is 1-5 this season with a 3.77 ERA. He has posted 38 strikeouts and just three walks this season.
Earlier today, Charlotte sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) and junior starting pitcher Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) were named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, respective by the league office.
Elwood led Charlotte offensively for the week by hitting .688 (11-for-16) with multiple hits in all four games last week. His two-RBI triple Friday gave Charlotte a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning of the 4-3 win to start the series. He had an RBI-double in Charlotte’s seven-run fourth inning to blow open the 10-4 win Saturday. Sunday, he had the first RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly in the first inning as Charlotte took a 2-1 series finale. Elwood is ranked third in the nation and tops in the A-10 in the “toughest to strike out” category, with just five strikeouts in 135 at bats for a rating of 27.0, the average number of at bats between strikeouts this season.
Hudgens tossed a career-long 7.1 innings of shutout baseball to push Charlotte to a Sunday home victory and a weekend series sweep of George Washington. Hudgens scattered three hits and walked one in the outing to improve to 3-0, and his first conference win of the season.
Charlotte will travel to Cincinnati to face off against A-10 foe Xavier, starting Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.