A two-RBI triple from senior third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) broke open a three-all tie in the seventh and reliever Hunter May (Cornelius, N.C. / Pitt CC) earned his NCAA-Leading fourth win out of the bullpen as Charlotte extended its home winning streak to nine games with a 5-4 win over Wake Forest in non-conference baseball action at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Tuesday afternoon. Charlotte avenged last week's road loss at Wake and improved to 9-2 on the season, 8-0 at home this season. The Demon Deacons slipped to 9-5, with a 1-3 road record. The start of the game was delayed an hour for morning rains that passed through the area.
Wake took the lead with an unearned run in the second without the benefit of a hit. A two-out walk to right fielder Jack Carey got the Demon Deacons started. Carey advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. He later scored on a throwing error for the 1-0 lead.
The 49ers took their first lead of the game in the fourth inning, with a pair of runs. Outfielder J.J. Elseser (Brunswick, Ga.) singled up the middle to start the inning, followed by a double from Basen and an error to score Elseser from first and tie the game. Basen advanced to third on the error and scored on an attempted safety squeeze that turned into an infield RBI single by sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) to give Charlotte the 2-1 edge.
The Deacons were able to tie the game with another unearned run in the fifth. Catcher Brett Armour singled through the middle and got to second after a throwing error, later scoring on a fielder's choice ground ball for a 2-2 score.
Wake Forest regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a solo homer from designated hitter Matt Conway. Conway, who had started the game on the mound, hit for himself and was lifted after 4.1 innings. Neither of two runs charged to him was earned. He gave up six hits and struck out three and finished the game with two hits offensively, including the RBI and run scored resulting from the homer. It was his first of the season.
Charlotte got that run back to re-tie the game in the sixth. Outfielder Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) hit a one-out single through the middle and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the frame.
Basen's triple came in the seventh with two outs, scoring Elseser and Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) to give Charlotte the 5-3 lead. Basen finished with the two hits, both for extra bases , to extend his career-long hit streak to 20 games, dating back to last season.
The Deacs nearly tied the game in the eighth after a single and a walk with two outs as Carey doubled down the left field line. Seager relayed to Basen who threw the trail runner trying to score and preserve the lead.
May pitched three innings for the win to tie him with three other pitchers with four wins atop the NCAA statistics. He allowed a run on three hits and a walk, with one strikeout.
The loss went to Wake Forest reliever Jack Fischer, who gave up the two runs in the eighth. He gave up four hits, all in that eighth inning and struck out a batter. He pitched 2.2 innings for Wake Forest on 33 pitches.
Charlotte starter Jason Harris (Austin, Tex. / Barton County CC) was solid in his longest outing of the season. In 3.1 innings, he scattered three hits and two walks, striking out four. Only one of the three runs charged to him was earned on 93 pitches.
The 49ers are nearing the midway point of this current 13-game home stand. Charlotte entertains 2012 College World Series participant Kent State for a three-game series beginning Friday at 4 p.m. Saturday's game time is 3 p.m. to accommodate home men's basketball and the Sunday game will be played at 1 p.m.
NOTES: Basen and Elwood have hits in all 11 Charlotte games this season... Charlotte has 31 extra-base hits this season in 11 games, allowing just 19 to this point of the season... Charlotte is outslugging opponents .411 to .305 in 2013... May has appeared in eight of Charlotte's 11 games, and is tied for the team lead with starting pitcher Tyler Barnette with 18.2 innings pitched... He and Mississippi State's Ross Mitchell are the only two true relievers with four wins in the country.... Seager's outfield assist in the eighth was the first in his career and the fifth this season for Charlotte... Charlotte entered the game 19th in the NCAA in doubles per game (2.4)... Basen's triple was the 11th for his career, tying him with four other players for fifth-most in school history... It came with two outs to drive in two more runs... Basen leads the team with eight two-out RBI... The nine home wins in a row is the most since a 17-game home winning streak in the 2010 season... Charlotte has outscored opponents 64-31 in the home win streak... Charlotte is 8-0 when scoring five runs in a game this season... With two runs in the fourth and two in the seventh, Charlotte is outscoring opponents 9-1 in the fourth innings and 15-5 in the seventh frame in games this season... The Niners have not lost a lead in the eighth or ninth inning this season.