Charlotte pounds Missouri, takes series
Senior second baseman Corey Shaylor had a career-high eight RBI and hit Charlotte's first home run of the season as the 49ers won the weekend series over Missouri in a 22-7 Sunday finale at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. As was the case Saturday, the game was a sellout (1,153 fans).
The offensive output was Charlotte's highest run total of the season and pushed the Niners' record to 7-1. Charlotte is averaging 11-6 runs per game this season. Missouri fell to 2-5 with the loss.
As it did in all three of the previous games of the series, the Tigers got on the board first, putting a run across in the first inning on two hits and two sacrifices.
Charlotte answered in the bottom half with four runs to take the lead for good. After two walks and an RBI-triple by third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS), Shaylor collected his first RBI of the day with a single to left. Shaylor later scored on a double by catcher Ross Steedley (Granite Quarry, N.C. / East Rowan HS).
Both teams scored in each of their first three at bats, with Charlotte adding four more in the bottom of the third. Shaylor drove in one run in the second on a sacrifice fly and two more in the third with a single through the left side. Charlotte led 10-4 after the third inning, the largest lead of the series to that point.
With the score 11-6 after the stretch, Charlotte added seven more runs. Shaylor was hit by a pitch on the helmet with the bases loaded to drive in his fifth run of the day. Steedley knocked home two more with a bases-loaded single to right, followed by an RBI single from Kevin Gillespie (Bedford, Ind.) and an RBI double down the right field line from Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.).
In the eighth, Charlotte logged three straight hits before Shaylor deposited the first pitch he saw in the inning over the left field fence to drive in three more. Those were the last runs of the contest. Shaylor led the team with a .429 batting average (6-for-14) for the series. His nine RBI were also tops for Charlotte. Basen led all players with seven runs scored.
Missouri used eight pitchers, with six giving up at least one run. The loss went to starter Zack Hardoin, who was tagged with the four runs in the first in one-third of an inning. He allowed three hits and two walks.
Charlotte reliever Tyler Pilkington (Waxhaw, N.C. / Weddington HS) got the win. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing three runs, two of them earned, on three hits and two walks, with three strikeouts.
Freshman Brock Hudgens (Jamestown, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) earned his first career save, tossing the last 3.2 innings, scattering one hit and a pair of walks. He struck out two Tigers. Hudgens was one of two pitchers to make two appearances in the series. In 4.1 total innings for the weekend, he did not allow a run.
Charlotte will play its first road game of the season Tuesday, when the 49ers take on the only ranked opponent on the schedule, North Carolina. First pitch at Boshamer Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.
NOTES: Sunday's game time was the same as the 4-2 Missouri win in 12 innings as the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday. Charlotte has wins of 20 and 17 runs (vs. Coppin State) and 15 runs (Missouri) in their first eight games. The Niners poured in more runs Sunday than they did in the first three games combined (10). Charlotte has a 25-3 series record in the new park since it opened on March 30, 2007. The Niners are 95-26 in the stadium. All three of the wins in the series were of the come-from-behind variety.