Redshirt freshman Brett Lang (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell HS) drove in three runs, including the game-winning run in the eighth in sleet, snow and rain as the Charlotte 49ers won the Sunday series finale and took the Atlantic 10 Conference opening-weekend series 6-4 at Pitt Field over the Richmond Spiders. Charlotte leaves town winning two of three in the series, posting a 16-7 record, 2-1 to start A-10 play. Richmond, which entered with an identical record to Charlotte, drops to 15-8, 1-2 in league play.
Lang’s bases-loaded hit was his second this season, a grounder through the left side of the infield to score two runs in the fourth, and he added an RBI single up the middle in the eighth for the lead.
After Lang gave Charlotte the lead in the fourth with the first two runs, Richmond got its first run in the bottom half on a single, a walk, a groundout and a wild pitch to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
The 49ers extended the lead back out to two runs with an RBI bunt single by third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) to score shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) from third with one out in the fifth.
Richmond grabbed its first lead with three runs on three hits and two Niners errors in the sixth. First baseman Jacob Mayers drove in two runs in the inning before a third run scored on the second miscue of the frame and Richmond ended the frame leading 4-3.
The Niners tied the game on a successful squeeze bunt from local product and senior center fielder Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS), scoring Roland for the second time in the game. Roland had struck out, but reached on a wild pitch and moved up two more bases on two more wild pitches to get into position for the Green bunt.
A hit batter turned into a runner in scoring position in the eighth for Lang, who collected his second hit of the contest for the lead. The 49ers added an insurance run in the ninth after Grant Dunnegan (Clearwater, Kan. / Hutchinson CC) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Basen for the game’s final score.
Charlotte reliever Ryan Mas (Matthews, N.C. / Butler HS) got the win in relief (2-1). He threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, striking out a batter.
Freshman Micah Wells (Pfafftown, N.C. / Mt. Tabor HS) finished the last two innings for Charlotte to collect his first collegiate save. He allowed one walk and one hit, also recording a strikeout.
The loss went to Richmond reliever Ray Harron (1-1). Harron was charged with an unearned run in the eighth after a fielding error in the frame.
Charlotte’s Lang and Green as well as Richmond’s Mayers all finished with the game-high two hits. Roland and Richmond’s Tanner Stanley scored two runs each for the game-high total.
Neither start factored in the decision. Charlotte starter Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) threw five innings, allowing four hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. Two of the four runs charged to him were earned in the afternoon. Richmond’s Peter Bayer tossed six innings, giving up six hits and two walks. He was tagged for three earned runs and struck out six.
The 49ers finish the road trip with a Tuesday afternoon contest at Presbyterian, beginning at 3 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte is 13-0 when leading after eight innings this season… The 49ers improved to 11-0 when scoring six or more runs this season… Charlotte is 15-6 all-time against Richmond, 7-2 at Pitt Field… Lang is tied for the team lead with six multiple-RBI contests this season… Roland has reached base in a team-high 14 games.