Charlotte senior starter John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) tossed his first complete game and got a shutout as the 49ers won their season-best seventh consecutive game and took the weekend home series over defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion Dayton 3-0 on Saturday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. The win pushed Charlotte’s record to 31-19, taking over first place in the conference with a 15-5 record. Dayton dropped to 10-36-1, 3-20 in league play.
Hard to imagine a better day for Hamilton, who was one of six 49ers baseball team members to receive his diploma that morning. With friends and family celebrating the day, he participated in Senior Day ceremonies prior to the start of the game and then threw the 98-pitch shutout, the second of the season for the 49ers as a team and the second in the last three games. He scattered six hits and a walk, recording six strikeouts in the 1:54 game.
Charlotte scored twice in the first to give Hamilton a working cushion. Senior Michael Green (Richmond, Va. / Thomas Dale HS) singled and stole second, the first of two stolen bases in the game to give him four in the series. A single from sophomore Brad Elwood (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) drove in Green and Elwood scored two singles later with an RBI from redshirt senior Tony Montalbano (New Orleans, La. / Bossier Parish JC) for the 2-0 lead. Charlotte has now outscored opponents 32-31 in the first inning of the 50 games played this season.
The 49ers added a run in the fourth, starting with the first career double from sophomore third baseman Derek Gallello (Fredericksburg, Va. / Riverbend HS) to drive in junior left fielder Justin Seager (Kannapolis, N.C. / Northwest Cabarrus HS) from first base for the game’s final run. Gallello has recorded 73 career hits, with his first triple coming earlier this year, and his first double coming in his 258th at bat in two seasons.
Hamilton and Dayton starter Joe Wahl cruised through the final five frames of the contest, as Wahl pitched all eight innings for the Flyers. He allowed eight hits with no walks and struck out three on 108 pitches.
Elwood and Gallello, as well as Dayton’s Kyle Robinett all had two hits for the game-high total.
Charlotte and Dayton conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. Prior to the contest, Charlotte retires its fifth jersey, that of current assistant coach and the only player in program history to record 100 RBI in a season, Bo Robinson.
NOTES: Charlotte is now 40-9 in series of three or more games since Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium opened in 2007… The 49ers seniors have won 135 contests… The win was just the second for Charlotte in conference when scoring three runs… The Niners have won 14 of 15 conference games and 23 of 26 when scoring first… Charlotte is 14-2 this season when scoring in the first inning… The 49ers have held conference opponents to three or fewer runs nine times, winning all nine contests… Charlotte outhit the Flyers 8-6, improving the record to 27-4 when outhitting the opponent… During Charlotte’s seven-game win streak, Elwood is batting .520 (13-for-25), with Montalbano recording a .480 (12-for-26) average… The starting pitching in that stretch has tossed two complete-game shutouts (Brock Hudgens on 5/4 vs. Butler) and is 7-0 with a 1.19 earned run average (eight earned runs in 53.0 innings pitched) and a .191 batting average against (36 hits)… while the pitching staff as a whole has a 1.14 ERA in that span, adding a pair of saves… Charlotte is outhitting the opponent .365 to .205 in the win streak, outscoring opponents 45-12 in that span.
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