A busy baseball weekend is highlighted by ceremonies honoring the 1993 team and a jersey retirement as Charlotte hosts Butler for an Atlantic 10 Conference baseball series of teams tied for third place at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m. before a Saturday 2 p.m. start and a Sunday 1 p.m. finale.
Before Saturday’s game, the 49ers will honor the 1993 squad and the 20th anniversary of the program’s first conference tournament title and NCAA Postseason berth. Saturday will also be Bark in the Park day, with fans who have registered their dogs with an online form allowed to bring in them to the game.
Before Sunday’s game, the 49ers will retire the jersey of current assistant Bo Robinson, who still holds the school record with 100 RBI in the 1998 season.
Charlotte and Butler enter play this weekend with identical 10-5 league marks, tied with Xavier and Rhode Island in a logjam at third place. This series pits the two-highest ranked teams of all of the matchups scheduled for the weekend in the league. The teams are two games behind league0leader Saint Louis and 1.5 games back of second-place La Salle. La Salle will take its conference bye this weekend, traveling to Delaware for a baseball series.
Butler enters on a six-game win streak and a 23-18 overall record after winning at Bellarmine 7-4 Tuesday for a 15-11 road record. The Bulldogs have also won their last six conference games, sweeping Fordham at home and winning all three at Dayton three weekends ago. First baseman Jimmy Risi leads the league in slugging percentage and is tied with Charlotte’s Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) for the league lead with 18 doubles. Butler is fifth in the league with a .276 batting average, but is 12th in the conference with a 5.15 earned run average.
Charlotte is 26-19 overall, with its lone midweek game rained out at Coastal Carolina Tuesday. The 49ers have won two out of three in its last two conference weekends, both road series, at Xavier and Temple. The 49ers dropped the Friday game before rallying for Saturday and Sunday wins to claim series victories. Charlotte is 19-9 at home this season, including a 4-2 home record in home conference games. Seager leads the lead with 37 runs scored and 49ers teammates Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) and Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) are tied for the league lead with 38 RBI. Seager is second in the league with 60 hits and is third with a .453 on-base percentage and fifth with a .509 slugging percentage. The 49ers are third with a .287 team batting average and are second with a 3.37 ERA.
This week, Basen was named as a repeat member to the Capital One Academic All-District Three, putting him on the national ballot for an Academic All-America honor. He was named Second-Team Academic All-American last season, the third Charlotte baseball player named to an Academic All-America list.
Friday, junior righty Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) will start the series opener. He is 0-3 in conference games, with two no-decisions in A-10 games. He is 3-3 overall, with a 4.30 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 18 walks. Bulldog sophomore lefty Eric Stout will start opposite Barnette on Friday. He is 7-4, with a 5.54 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 33 walks this season.
Saturday, senior lefty John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) will take the hill for the 49ers. He has won two of his last three conference starts. He is also 3-3 this season, with a 3.72 ERA, 45 punchouts and 17 walks. He is 2-0 in league games, with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 31.2 league innings. Senior righty Kyle Kramp will start for the Bulldogs in game two. Kramp is 7-2, with a 4.33 ERA, logging 40 strikeouts and 16 walks this season.
Sunday, junior right hander Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) will start for the 49ers in the series finale. Hudgens has a 5-0 record, with a 3.13 ERA, with a team-best 57 strikeouts and 20 walks. He is 3-0 in league games, winning his last three starts. His ERA in conference games is 2.35 and he has averaged six strikeouts per conference start. Senior lefty Kevin Lenkman will start the Sunday ballgame. He has a 2-2 mark this season, with a 6.75 ERA. He has struck out 29 and walked 15.
Tickets are available online, at the Hayes Stadium Box Office or by calling the Ticket Office at (704) 687-4949.
Temperatures will be on the cool side this weekend, with Thunderstorms forecasted for Sunday, so stay tuned to Charlotte49ers.com for the latest updates, should any changes occur.