|Elwood Homers Twice, Charlotte Sweeps Siena, 14-4|
Charlotte sophomore second baseman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) hit his first two career home runs as the 49ers swept the four-game weekend series against visiting Siena by a 14-3 final Sunday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The win improves Charlotte's record to 14-5 for the season, and a 36-8 series record at home for series of three or more games since the facility opened March 31, 2007. The Saints fell to 3-13 on the season.
Elwood finished with career highs in homers, RBI (four) and tied his career-best mark with four hits on the day. His season average climbed up above .400 to .408 after his 4-for-6 day.
The 49ers got on the board in the second with a lone run when sophomore outfielder Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian) singled to bring in junior outfielder Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS), who had walked to lead off the inning.
Charlotte scored four runs in the second inning, two unearned after a fielding error in the frame. Three straight batters recorded RBI in the frame, with Seager and sophomore designated hitter Derek Gallello (Fredericksburg, Va. / Riverbend HS) driving in runs with singles.
Elwood's first homer hugged the line in right and just got over the fence for the first of his career. No one came to congratulate him in a time-honored tradition in baseball dugouts for a player's first round tripper. Basen doubled after that and Seager singled him in and later scored on an error for a third run and 8-0 lead.
The 49ers added five runs in the fifth inning, starting with Elwood's two-run homer to right center, bringing in himself and senior outfielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS). The dugout emptied to celebrate with him after the second blast. Charlotte collected four-straight hits after that, including the first extra-base hit for Gallello in his career, a two-run triple in the right field corner. It was his 52nd hit for Charlotte, but the first one not a single. Gallello scored on a single from redshirt freshman catcher Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) to make the score 13-0.
Charlotte added a 14th run in the sixth when Elwood doubled in redshirt senior Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS), who made his 200th career start for the 49ers in the game.
The Saints avoided the shutout with a run in the seventh on two walks and a single, plating two more in the eighth after a Mike Fish solo home run to left and a single, an error, a walk and a sacrifice fly for the 14-3 score. They added their fourth and final run on an error, two hits and a walk in the ninth.
Charlotte junior starter Jason Harris (Austin, Tex. / Barton County CC) allowed just one hit and three walks in five shutout innings. He recorded four strikeouts for his first Division I win (1-1).
The loss went to Siena starter Rick Morales (0-2), who gave up the second-inning run. He lasted two innings, allowing three hits and a walk, with one strikeout.
Seager finished 3-for-3 and tied his career high by scoring four runs. He led the Niners with nine hits in the series and batted .643 for the four games. Gallello's three RBI were a career-high total and his three hits tied his career-best day.
Charlotte finished 10-3 on the 13-game home stand which has spanned the month of March to this point. Charlotte is 13-3 at home this season and will play the next six games on the road, including all four scheduled for the upcoming week. The Niners will play their first game in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park when they take on Duke for a 6 p.m. start. Charlotte starts Atlantic 10 Conference play next weekend at Richmond.
NOTES: The two-homer game for Elwood was the first time a Charlotte batter hit two out since Corbin Shive belted a pair of homers at home on April 20, 2012 against Saint Joseph's... Elwood finished with 11 total bases, last matched by Cory Tilton with the same two-homer, double and single day in a 23-0 home win over Temple on May 1, 2010... Elwood tied the team lead for home runs with two, along with Seager and Lang... Charlotte has 100 RBI for the season through 19 games.... The 49ers are averaging 6.4 runs per game and have scored more than 10 runs four times this season... Two of the four runs charged to Niners pitchers were earned and the team earned run average slid below three, at 2.96... Charlotte is 12-2 when holding the opponent to four or fewer runs... Harris' win was the sixth for the starting pitchers this season... Roland became the ninth played in team history to reach 200 career starts... He will become the program's all-time leader in games started with 16 more starts... He has appeared in 202 career games with the 49ers.