Charlotte freshman starting pitcher Tyler Barnette (Hickory,
N.C. / Hickory) allowed just one hit in 7.2 innings as the No. 25 49ers shut
out Richmond for the second straight game in a 6-0 Sunday victory at Robert and
Mariam Hayes Stadium. The Atlantic 10 Conference win kept Charlotte in a
first-place tie at 15-6 in conference, with a 36-11 overall record. Richmond slips
to 23-21-2, 10-8 in conference. The win assures Charlotte of an Atlantic 10
Conference Tournament berth, based on the remaining A-10 schedule.
The shutout was the tenth thrown by the Charlotte staff this
season, tied for third-most in the country. It is also the third time this
season that Charlotte has tossed back-to-back shutouts, repeating the feat accomplished
in February at home versus Coppin State (three straight games) and in March
The win also clinched the weekend series, giving Charlotte
12 straight home A-10 series victories, tied with Virginia for the
seventh-longest home weekend league winning streak in the country.
Barnette set a new career high with eight strikeouts. He
allowed two walks, a hit batter and a double to lead off the seventh to
outfielder Mike Mergenthaler. Barnette retired 10 batters in a row in the
middle of the game.
Offensively, the 49ers scored more runs Sunday than both
teams combined in the pitching display in the first two games of the series. Charlotte
got on the board with two first-inning runs. Leadoff batter and senior
outfielder Justin Wilson (Canton, N.C. / Pisgah HS) singled through the left
side of the infield and stole his 60th career base, tenth-most in
program history. After another walk, outfielder Tony Montalbano (New Orleans,
La.) pushed an RBI single through the left side to score Wilson from second.
After a foul out for the first out of the inning, catcher Ross Steedley (Granite
Quarry, N.C. / East Rowan HS) recorded an RBI groundout to give Charlotte the
The Niners are now 13-0 when scoring in the first inning
this season and 26-2 when scoring first in a game in 2011.
In the fourth, Charlotte added to the lead with a single and
two walks to load the bases for designated hitter Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C.
/ East Rowan HS), who lifted a sacrifice fly to right for the third run of the
day. His high school teammate and current 49ers shortstop Justin Roland
(Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) then singled through the right side for an
RBI and a 4-0 lead.
The Niners added two more runs in the seventh after a
leadoff walk to Roland and a one-out single to right field by third baseman
Shane Basen (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge HS). Following a strikeout, senior second
baseman Corey Shaylor (Charlotte, N.C. / Independence HS) drilled a two-RBI double
down the right field line and the final runs of the day. Basen has hit in six
straight games, the longest active streak for Charlotte, with Shaylor collecting
hits in four consecutive contests. It was Shaylor's 10th time with a
multiple-RBI day this season, second on the squad. It was also the 35th
double of his career.
Barnette improved to 7-1 on the season, the third 49er to
reach seven wins this season.
Richmond starter Matt Trent took the loss (1-3) after just
four innings of work in 99 pitches. He allowed five hits and four walks, giving
up the first four Charlotte runs. He struck out three.
Charlotte's Chad Rothlin (Hickory, N.C. / Fred T. Foard HS)
tossed the final 1.1 innings, allowing the other Richmond hit in the game. The
contest was the second two-hitter of the season for the 49ers, the other coming
at home against Xavier on April 2.
Shaylor's two RBI were the game-high total. Steedley and
outfielder Coty Tilton (Cary, N.C. / Green Hope HS) led all players with two
hits in the game.
Charlotte will be the first team in the A-10 to finish up
the conference regular season, due to bye weeks, next weekend at La Salle.
Charlotte will face the Explorers at Hand DeVincent Field in Philadelphia on
Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte should returnt to the top spot in the nation in ERA (2.19) on Monday... In Charlotte's 10 shutouts, they have allowed an
average of 3.9 hits per game, while scoring 78 runs against opponents in those
games... It was the second combined shutout for Barnette, going back to his first
collegiate appearance against Coppin State on February 19... The combined shutout
was also the second this season for Chad Rothlin, going back to his first appearance
of the season against Coppin State on February 20... Steedley leads the team with
a .439 average (18-for-41) in the final game of a weekend series this season...
He also leads the team in batting in A-10 games at .338 (22-for-65)... Barnette
is 4-1 in league games with one combined shutout and one complete game... Charlotte
is 21-1 when scoring six or more runs... The 49ers are 28-0 when leading after
eight innings this season... Charlotte needs a sweep of La Salle next weekend to capture
a fourth conference championship in five years... Two wins against La Salle would
give the 49ers a bye in the opening round of the tournament.