The Charlotte 49ers ended the season on a high note, salvaging a win on the final day of the regular season, 5-3 over visiting St. Bonaventure, at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium on Saturday afternoon to complete an Atlantic 10 Conference series. The 49ers finish the season 21-32 overall, 9-14 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bonnies end at 23-25, 10-14 in league play. Both teams have completed their 2012 seasons.
Charlotte cracked the scoreboard first after a leadoff walk to freshman outfield Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) turned into a run on an RBI single to center from designated hitter Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La.) with one out.
SBU took its first lead of the day in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer to left by outfielder Ryan Skellie.
Charlotte pulled to a tie with a run on three hits in the bottom half, including a leadoff double from first baseman Corbin Shive (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS) and a two-out double by his high school teammate Justin Roland (Salisbury, N.C. / East Rowan HS). Shive scored on an RBI single past a drawn-in infield by redshirt freshman catcher Patrick Raley (Franklin, Tenn.) to level the game at two. Roland finished with 15 doubles, the team leader in that category.
Charlotte took another lead with two runs in the fifth. Redshirt senior Shane Brown (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) singled to lead off the inning. He stole second and third and scored on a throwing error for the 3-2 lead. Elwood doubled with one out and came home for a 4-2 lead on another RBI single from Montalbano to give him 31 RBI, second-most on the squad in 2012.
The Bonnies got a run back after a walk an RBI triple from outfielder Nick Brennen in the sixth, making the score 4-3.
The 49ers scored an unearned run in the sixth after an error, a hit batter and an RBI single up the middle from freshman outfielder Leland Clemmons (Chesapeake, Va. / Portsmouth Christian HS) for the game's final run.
The Bonnies threatened again in the ninth, after coming back last night in the final at-bat. They got back-to-back hits to start the inning, but senior reliever Chad Rothlin (Hickory, N.C. / Fred T. Foard HS) came in to retire three consecutive batters to record his second save of the season.
Charlotte starter Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C. / Hickory HS) got the win to even his season mark to 3-3. In 5.1 innings, he gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He turned in a season-high of six strikeouts in the contest.
The loss went to reliever Cael Johnson (3-6), who allowed three runs in 1.1 innings on four hits and a walk, recording one strikeout.
Four players, two from each team, recorded two hits, the game-high total. Brown finished 1-for-3 to earn the Atlantic 10 Conference's batting title, at .365 for the season. Montalbano and Skellie were even for the game-high of two RBI.
Brown's pair of stolen bases gave him 31 for the season, the second-highest total in the A-10 this season. It was tied for the sixth-highest total in a season at Charlotte.
NOTES: The win gave Charlotte its first converted save in its last five opportunities... The 49ers turned in 12 saves this season... It was also Charlotte's only win this season in a game decided by exactly two runs (1-6)... Shive, Roland and Brown all reached base safely in the game, extending their streaks of consecutive games doing so (Shive - 37, Roland - 29, Brown - 27)... Shane Basen led the league in triples, with five. His 45 RBI led the team and finished fourth in the A-10... Charlotte honored its 2012 senior class before the game, saying goodbye to Brown, Rothlin, Brandon DeLong, Tyler Pilkington, Miguel Rodriguez, Andrew Smith, Ross Steedley and Joe Yermal in a pregame ceremony.
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