|Bullpen Key in Comeback Win for Baseball, 7-4|
The Charlotte 49ers got behind early, but secured a fifth comeback win of the season, 7-4 over Winthrop Wednesday night at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in non-conference action. The win gets Charlotte to an 11-10 mark, dropping the Eagles to 6-16.
The Eagles came out of the gates hot, scoring a pair of runs in the first and second to take a 4-0 lead on six hits, three walks and a 49ers error, but Charlotte leveled the game with a four-run second.
After a lineout, hits were recorded by the next three Niners batters, all East Rowan High graduates, starting with a double from designated hitter Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C.), followed by an RBI single from catcher Ross Steedley (Granite Quarry, N.C.). Shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C.) then singled before a walk to outfielder Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) loaded the bases. A walk to third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) drove in the second run of the inning and a two-out RBI single from outfielder Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) drove in two more to tie the game.
Charlotte took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning. Brown and Elseser started the frame with back-to-back singles, with Elseser's driving in Brown from second after getting there on a wild pitch. Elseser stole second and later scored on a single from first baseman Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) for a 6-4 edge.
Brown singled again to lead off the sixth, stole second and third and came home on a single from Basen as Charlotte increased the lead to three runs. He has Charlotte's season-long hitting streak at eight games.
Four Charlotte relievers combined to shut out the Eagles over the final 7.1 innings. Sophomore Ryan Mas (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) got his second career win after a career-long four innings. He allowed just one hit and faced the minimum of 12 batters thanks for a ground ball double play to his only baserunner of the day. He set a new career consecutive shutout innings streak to 5.2 after the outing.
Redshirt sophomore Jordan Hudson (Lexington, N.C. / West Davidson HS) recorded his first career save by retiring three straight batters with an inherited runner via a walk in the ninth.
The loss went to Winthrop's Preston Johnson (0-4). He gave up the go-ahead runs in the fourth, allowing three hits and a walk.
Shive led all players with three hits, including a pair of doubles. Brown was credited with a pair of stolen bases to push his season total to 18. The national leaders had 19 on Monday. Brown was listed as tied for the sixth in the country during the weekly NCAA Statistics release on Monday with his 16.
Charlotte begins Atlantic 10 Conference play in a three-game series at Rhode Island, starting Friday at 3 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte has led after the sixth inning in all 11 season victories, never losing the lead after that point (seven saves)... Charlotte is also undefeated (8-0) when scoring six or more runs... Charlotte has won eight of the last nine contests against Winthrop... Closer John Hamilton pitched two more scoreless innings to tie his career mark of 9.2 consecutive shutout innings pitched.