Junior catcher Miguel Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) drove in the first two runs and sophomore third baseman Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS) drove in the last two as the Charlotte 49ers took down No. 6 North Carolina 4-3 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Tuesday night in non-conference baseball action. The win extends Charlotte's streak to four straight years with a defeat over a team ranked seven or higher. Charlotte improves to 20-6 on the year, snapping the Tar Heels' nine-game win streak and handing them only their fourth loss of the season (23-4). Charlotte has won eight of its last nine contests and improves to 18-4 at home in 2011.
Charlotte took the first lead of the game with a run in the second. First baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on Rodriguez's RBI single through the left side of the infield.
The Tar Heels wrestled the lead away with a pair of runs in the third on back-to-back RBI hits from center fielder Ben Bunting and shortstop Tommy Coyle.
Charlotte scored three runs in the fourth to take the lead for good. The first came across on a sacrifice fly by Rodriguez, and the go-ahead runs pushed across on a double to right center from Basen to make it 4-2 Charlotte.
North Carolina pulled to within one run in the seventh inning on a two-out solo homer to right by Coyle, his second of the team's three RBI in the game.
The Tar Heels only reached base once more with a walk in the ninth.
Charlotte reliever Chad Rothlin (Hickory, N.C. / Fred T. Foard HS) got the win for the 49ers. He tossed 5.1 innings, allowing four hits, including the homer in the seventh, with three strikeouts. He is now 2-2 on the season.
Reliever Tyler Pilkington (Waxhaw, N.C. / Weddington HS) got his second career save and his first of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth to give Charlotte its third win over a ranked opponent in its last seven tries.
The loss went to Tar Heels reliever Shane Taylor (1-1). He was tagged with the three runs in the fourth on two hits and a walk in 21 pitches.
Rodriguez' RBI total was a season high, and his game-high two hits tied his season high total. Bunting, Coyle
Charlotte will head to Spartanburg, S.C. Wednesday evening to tangle with USC Upstate at 6 p.m. at Harley Park.
NOTES: Charlotte is 15-1 when leading after four innings this season and the 49ers have not lost a game when leading after eight frames (14-0)... Charlotte is 19-1 when scoring three or more runs this season... Charlotte has a 14-0 record when holding opponents under four runs... The attendance was 1,657, giving Charlotte its sixth sellout of the season... The Niners are averaging 1,026 fans per home game this season, ahead of last season's 999 record average.
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