Charlotte out hit its opponent for the 23rd time this season, but a four-run fifth inning was the difference as the 49ers fell at No. 19 North Carolina State 6-3 Wednesday night at Doak Field in non-conference baseball action. The loss drops Charlotte to a 17-23 mark, with the Wolfpack improving to 27-12. Charlotte got baserunners with its 11 hits and had chances to score, but left 10 on in the loss.
State got the day started with the first batter of the home half of the first, as leadoff man Trea Turner lined a 2-2 fastball over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead.
The 49ers got the run back after a leadoff double from freshman Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS), a sacrifice and an RBI single from shortstop Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). The hit extended Roland's career-long hit streak to an Atlantic 10 Conference-leading 16 straight games and leveled the game at a run each.
That score held until the fifth, when the Wolfpack managed back-to-back-to-back RBI singles and scored four runs to take a commanding 5-1 lead. After tacking on an unearned insurance run in the seventh, Charlotte started a late comeback.
After an out in the eighth, Charlotte collected four straight hits to score a run and load the bases, but a ground ball double play ended the rally down four runs.
Freshman Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) blasted his third career home run with a towering solo shot to left with one out in the ninth, and Charlotte hit into an unassisted double play on a hit and run with the tying run on deck to end the contest.
State reliever Danny Healey got the win to improve to 4-0. He tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and one walk, with one strikeout.
Charlotte reliever Jordan Hudson (Lexington, N.C. / West Davidson HS), making his first appearance in nearly two weeks, took the first for his first career decision (0-1) after 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and a strikeout.
Clemmons and Turner tied for the game-high total of three hits, along with Elwood, a new career-high total for him.
The game was the first of a seven-game road swing for the 49ers, as they travel to Arlington, Va. for a three-game series at George Washington in Atlantic 10 Conference play. Friday's series-opener starts at 4 p.m.
NOTES: 1B/DH Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) had a hit in his final at bat to extend his team-best streak of reaching base safely in 24 straight games... It is the second-longest active streak in the conference... Clemmons has 13 hits in his last seven games, raising his average from .119 to .257 in that span... Both of Clemmons' previous two home runs have come when behind in the count (1-2 both times) and in the ninth inning in a comeback attempt... Nine of Charlotte's 17 home runs have come in the sixth inning or later... All three of Clemmons' home runs have been solo shots... Roland's average has risen from .247 to .312 during his hit streak... He has batted in the leadoff spot in the last seven games.
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