SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Backed by an 11-run fifth inning, the Charlotte 49ers opened up their final regular season road series with a bang blowing past UTSA 22-4 on Friday night. Five different players drove in three runs apiece and two hit back-to-back homers all in an 18-hit attack. With the win and other C-USA scores going the way they did, the 49ers have made up that one-game deficit as four teams will go into Saturday with 10 wins each in league play.
“You don’t see too many games like this and this level of play,” remarked Head Coach Loren Hibbs. “We responded really well tonight, but it’s just one game though and we have to bring that same type of effort tomorrow. We played good defense again tonight and that can be hard to do when the game gets out of hand like that. We’ve got a big doubleheader tomorrow.”
Charlotte (21-28, 10-15 C-USA) began the action early scoring in five of the first six innings beginning with a bases loaded walk by Zach Jarrett in the first, RBI fielder’s choice by Hunter Jones and first of four errors committed by UTSA. In the second, all of the damage was done with two outs as Reece Hampton and Brett Netzer traded doubles before Logan Sherer and T.J. Nichting hit back-to-back bombs for a four-run second inning.
UTSA (15-33, 6-19) put two of the runs up in the bottom of the second only to have the Niners get those back in the fourth on RBI singles by Netzer and Sherer. The 11-run fifth saw the 49ers use seven hits in the inning, take advantage of three Roadrunner errors to put 20 runs on the board through five innings.
Nick Daddio reached on the first of those errors that scored Jones after his leadoff single to left. Netzer added his third RBI of the night on his fourth hit of the inning to continue the barrage before a two-run single by Nichting and two-run double by Jarrett helped blow things open. The final nail in the fifth came on Hampton’s bases-clearing double.
Offensively, Netzer and Nichting each registered four-hit ballgames while Hampton picked up three with Sherer and Jones collecting two. Hampton, Netzer, Sherer, Nichting and Jarrett, all one through five in the lineup, each drove in three. Netzer ended up scoring four times while Hampton, Sherer and Nichting all plated three times.
Josh Maciejewski (5-6) scored the win on the mound going the first seven innings allowing two runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Brandon Casas tossed the final two allowing a pair of runs on four hits with three punch-outs.
Due to weather, both teams will now try to finish the series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. central time. RHP Colton Laws (4-3, 5.33) and LHP Holden Capps (4-1, 2.72) will each get a start for the Niners. If any weather issues arise early in San Antonio, fans are urged to follow @NinerBaseball and @Charlotte 49ers on Twitter for the latest updates. Both games will have live stats along with the free audio broadcast through http://www.charlotte49ers.com.
C-USA TOURNAMENT RACE UPDATE