Senior outfielder Justin Wilson (Canton, N.C. / Pisgah HS) hit his first home run of the season, but the No. 25 Charlotte 49ers lost a Sunday series finale 5-2 at Saint Louis to drop the weekend series at the Billiken Sports Center. It is only the second time this season that the 49ers have lost two in a row and it is Charlotte's first series loss of 2011, and the first in conference in its last six, dating back to last season. Charlotte is 28-8, 9-3 and still in first in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Billikens improve to 22-15, 4-5 in the A-10.
Wilson's homer came on a 1-0 pitch in the third against SLU starter Zack Smith, giving Charlotte a 1-0 lead.
The Billikens took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth off of Charlotte freshman starter Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS), who allowed three hits in that inning, including the first home run of the season from Jon Myers, a two-run blast on a 1-0 pitch that put Saint Louis up 2-1. Catcher Connor Gandossy added the third run with an RBI single up the middle later in the inning.
The 49ers scratched across a run in the seventh when Wilson collected his third hit of the day, an infield RBI single to score designated hitter Miguel Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) from third following his leadoff single earlier in the frame. That cut the SLU lead to 3-2.
Saint Louis only had hits in three innings, but a pair of three-hit frames proved to be difference, scoring another two runs in the eighth, one coming on a Nick Becker inside-the-park home run down the left field line on the first pitch of his at-bat in that inning.
Barnette took the loss, the first of his career (4-1). He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just four hits and one walk, with five strikeouts.
Smith got the win for SLU (5-3). He pitched 6.1 innings, allowing eight hits and a walk, striking out three. Closer Travis Parked collected his second save in as many days (6) by pitching the finals 1.2 innings, giving up three hits.
Wilson and Miller had three hits each to lead all players. Wilson had a pair of three-hit games in the series and leads Charlotte with 15 multi-hit contests this season.
Charlotte returns home for the next four games, starting Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against North Carolina Central.
NOTES: Charlotte is 1-6 when scoring two or fewer runs and 4-4 when the opponent scores 3-5 runs... The loss was the second in seven games for the 49ers when hitting at least a home run...Charlotte had exactly 12 hits in each of the three games, outhitting the Billikens on Friday and Sunday, tying for team hits on Saturday.
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