Charlotte baseball will provide a sneak preview for fans with an exhibition against the Ontario Blue Jays Sunday at 1 p.m. at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The 49ers and Blue Jays will play a scheduled 12 innings, with first pitch at 1 p.m. The NCAA provides provisions for member schools to play Canadian teams and not count against the team’s spring playing dates.
The Blue Jays are on a tour of college programs, playing 29 different teams and two junior tournaments from mid-September to the end of the October. They are playing at Virginia Friday, at High Point Saturday and scheduled to take on Charlotte Sunday before heading to Chapel Hill for a Monday game. The Blue Jays are a squad comprised of juniors and seniors that the team hopes to get looks from college coaches and pro scouts during their playing schedule.
Charlotte finished 37-23 last season, tying the school record by winning 29 games at home. The 49ers tied for the Atlantic 10 Conference title, their fifth title in the past seven years. Charlotte returns three offensive starters and 10 pitchers to the 2014 squad, which will return to compete in Conference USA. Charlotte welcomed 14 newcomers to the squad this season and several are expected to see action in the contest.
2014 will also mark the return of redshirt senior Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). After missing last season, the two-way player will return to play first, DH and pitch for Charlotte next spring. He batted .309 with seven homers and 27 RBI, drawing 30 walks in 2012, playing 51 games for the 49ers. He also posted a 2.08 earned run average that season in 10 relief appearances.
The 2014 season begins Friday, February 14, when Charlotte hosts Youngstown State and Virginia Tech for a three-team, three-day opening weekend. Each of the teams will play a doubleheader one day, facing each other twice in the weekend. Charlotte will play a 30-game C-USA schedule starting March 7, when the Niners host FIU at Hayes Stadium.