Charlotte outfielder Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) blasted a two-run homer to right in the third inning, and the 49ers held on to win 3-2 Sunday at Temple to capture its first Atlantic 10 Conference series of the season at Skip Wilson Field. The 49ers improve to 16-20 on the season, 4-8 in league play at the halfway point of league games. Temple drops to 13-22 overall, 1-8 in the A-10.
Temple got the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, and a single by third baseman Steve Nikorak scored a run, but left fielder J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) threw out the runner trying to score from second to preserve the lead.
The Niners added an insurance run in the seventh when shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) hit a two-out RBI single to drive in first baseman Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) from third for a 3-1 margin.
In the ninth, Temple got a hit batter and a pair of singles to score a run, but closer John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) got a pair of groundouts, including a game-ending fielder's choice from Nikorak for his seventh save of the season.
Reliever Chad Rothlin (Hickory, N.C. / Fred T. Foard HS) got the win (3-2) after 3.1 innings, without allowing a hit in relief of starter Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS), who went 4.2 innings, giving up just the one run.
Temple's freshman starter Patrick Peterson took the loss (2-3), after allowing five hits and three runs in 6.1 innings on 108 pitches.
The 49ers will not play a midweek game this week, with the next contest the start of an Atlantic 10 Conference series beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. versus Saint Joseph's at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium.
NOTES: Freshman Leland Clemmons led the 49ers with six hits in the series, and reached base 10 times in the three games... He also drove in a series-high four runs and stole four bases to lead all players... Roland also reached 10 times on seven hits and three walks... Charlotte is now 15-0 when leading after eight innings this season...