After sitting through three and a half hours of delays on Friday, No. 25 Charlotte and Dallas Baptist finally finished game two of the weekend series and played a game three, with the two teams splitting the results. Dallas Baptist won the halted game 12-8 and Charlotte took the series finale 8-2.
The Patriots finish their season 39-17, with a full week off until the announcement of the NCAA regional selections a week from Monday. They were leading 10-6 when the game was halted Friday night in the middle of the seventh and each team scored a pair of runs on Saturday morning during the completion.
Charlotte finishes the regular season 39-14, earlier winning the regular season title of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The 49ers will be the top seed in next week's conference tournament, which starts Wednesday in Camden, N.J. The 49ers earned a bye and will play next Thursday at noon for their opening game of the championship. The winner of the six-team tournament will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA postseason.
In the game that was completed Saturday morning, the Patriots jumped out to an 8-1 lead after three innings, before Charlotte scored four runs between the fourth and fifth innings. Rains halted play after the fifth, causing a three-hour delay. After the rain and field maintenance, Charlotte cut the lead to two with a run in the top of the sixth. DBU scored two in the bottom of the sixth and shut out the Niners in the top of the seventh before the game was halted for the night with lightning in the area and more rains in the Dallas area.
Saturday morning when play resumed, Dallas Baptist scored two in the bottom of the seventh, before the Niners added two more in the eighth on four singles.
Charlotte starter Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS) took the loss (7-3) in his first start in three weeks. He gave up a career-high seven runs in two innings on five hits and four walks. He struck out a pair.
Patriots reliever Patrick Hicks got his first win of the season (1-0) in relief, tossing one inning. He allowed an earned run in one inning of work on two hits and a walk, with one strikeout.
In the final game of the series, designated hitter Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) hit his first homer of his Charlotte career over the fair pole down the right field line to give the Niners a 1-0 lead.
The Patriots took the lead after a solo home run and a sacrifice fly off of Charlotte starter Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS) to go up 2-1.
Charlotte then scored six unanswered runs and held the nation's number-two scoring offense to three hits and no runs the rest of the way for the win.
First baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) hit a two-out double to right center to drive in two in the fifth, while three Patriots errors in the sixth allowed three more runs to cross. Of Shive's nine RBI this season, eight have come with two outs.
Catcher Ross Steedley (Granite Quarry, N.C. / East Rowan HS) had an RBI single in the ninth for the eighth and final run of the day for Charlotte.
The win went to redshirt junior Joe Yermal, who tossed three shutout innings in relief of Barnette, giving up just one hit and a pair of walks, to go to 5-2 on the season.
DBU ace Brandon Williamson took only his third loss of the season (9-3), surrendering 11 hits in seven innings, with a walk and two strikeouts. Four of the seven runs tallied against him were earned.
Charlotte scored 22 runs and batted .365 as a team in the three-game series.
The 49ers will await the rest of the tournament seeding for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which will reveal possible opponents following day one at Campbell's Field.
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