CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte baseball returns home for the final Conference USA series of the year hosting UAB with a chance to clinch one of two spots remaining in next week’s C-USA Tournament. Due to incoming weather, both teams will attempt a Thursday doubleheader beginning at 4:00 p.m. The series-finale will now be slated for 3:00 p.m. Friday. All game times/dates are subject to change due to weather this weekend.
Charlotte (22-28, 11-15 C-USA) won both of their Conference USA contests at UTSA over the weekend in San Antonio. The 49ers opened the series by re-writing some records in a whopping 22-4 victory over the Roadrunners on Friday. Five different Niners recorded at-least three RBI as Brett Netzer and T.J. Nichting each raked four hits. Netzer scored four of the 22 runs while Nichting, Reece Hampton, Logan Sherer and Nick Daddio all plated three times. Josh Maciejewski (5-6) got the win on Friday throwing seven innings allowing just two runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Brandon Casas tossed the final two frames allowing two runs on four hits while fanning three.
On Saturday, things were looking grim for the Niners trailing 2-0 heading into the eighth inning. The crazy day began with 15 minutes of play followed by a six-hour rain delay before resuming later in the Texas night. The 49ers finally got the offense going in the eighth starting with Hunter Jones’ leadoff single. Derek Gallello followed with a double off the top of the wall in left that set the table for Drew Ober. The freshman came through with a two-run double laced to center knotting things up at 2-2. The go-ahead run came across after Netzer’s infield single that deflected off the pitcher scoring Ober from second. Holden Capps (5-1) notched his second-straight win in as many starts with seven innings of work allowing two runs on seven hits. Matt Horkey spelled Philip Perry to work the ninth earning his second save of the year in a three-up, three-down ninth.
“It was a good weekend for us,” began Head Coach Loren Hibbs. “We really played well and I’m proud of our guys for bouncing back on Saturday after the long rain delay.”
UAB (19-33, 10-17) enters the weekend having lost nine-straight including a 4-1 loss at Auburn on Tuesday night. The Blazers scored their lone run in the top of the first without the benefit of a hit and only managed three hits the rest of the way. UAB host also lost six-straight in C-USA play and eight of their last nine.
Brewer Hecklin leads the team with a .291 average starting in all 52 games while Carter Pharis is one point ahead of Griffin Gum at .287. As a team, UAB begins the weekend with a .230 team average and an even four ERA.
“UAB is struggling right now but there are no easy games in Conference USA,” continued Hibbs. “We’re going to have to play really well to win. We’ve put ourselves in position to qualify for the tournament and if we win games, we don’t have anything to worry about.
Tickets, along with live video/stats, are available for the weekend set vs. UAB at http://www.charlotte49ers.com. Fans are highly encouraged to follow @NinerBaseball and @Charlotte49ers for any weekend updates regarding weather and senior day activities.
“It’s difficult this time of year because we don’t have any time to make up games due to weather,” added Hibbs. “The goal is to get all three games this weekend.”
ABOUT THE SERIES
Charlotte and UAB have met 50 times in the all-time series with the Blazers holding a 28-22 advantage entering the weekend. The 49ers have won three-straight after sweeping the Blazers in a wild three-game series last year in Birmingham. Charlotte had lost nine of their last 10 against UAB prior to the sweep. The Blazers have also swept the past two series at Hayes Stadium with the Niners last victory at home coming back on March 24, 2002.
PROBABLE WEEKEND STARTERS
Thursday (4pm-G1): LHP Josh Maciejewski (5-6, 5.88) vs. LHP Thomas Lowery (1-4, 3.02)
Thursday (7pm-G2): TBA vs. TBA
Friday (1pm): TBA vs. TBA
C-USA TOURNAMENT CLINCHING SCENARIOS