The Charlotte 49ers (19-27, 8-14 C-USA) dropped the Conference USA (C-USA) weekend opener to the Old Dominion Monarchs 8-6 despite coming back from a four-run deficit and piecing together another 10-hit performance.
Colton Laws allowed four runs on five hits in just 1.2 innings on the mound for Charlotte in his first Friday start of his collegiate career, needing help right out of the gate from his offense.
After giving up two runs in the first inning and two in the second, the 49ers gave the Monarchs (28-17, 11-11 C-USA) a taste of their own medicine, scoring two runs in the second and third inning to tie it up at four.
In the second, Drew Ober led off the inning with his third home run of the season to left, banging it off the newly inserted Charlotte banner in left field, cutting the deficit to three.
Hunter Jones followed that up with an infield single to the Monarch’s shortstop, advancing to second on the throw. Derek Gallello came up big for the 49ers with a single up the middle, scoring Jones to cut the lead in half, now 4-2.
Charlotte continued the hot hitting in the third as Brett Netzer started the two-run inning with a five-pitch walk. T.J. Nichting stepped up next, singling through the right side on the first pitch of the at-bat, putting runners at the corners for the 49ers.
Ober continued to produce runs, scoring Netzer from third off of a fly-out to right-center, making it a 4-3 Monarch lead. Zach Jarrett quickly followed Ober’s sacrifice fly with a single to right field, scoring Nichting and tying the game up at four.
The 49ers continued to build momentum throughout the first part of the ball game, this time scoring in the fifth after Gallello led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. Nick Daddio bunted the speedy Gallello to second, followed by a Netzer single up the middle, scoring Gallello and giving Charlotte the 5-4 lead.
Old Dominion didn’t waste anytime getting those runs back, scoring in the fifth inning and then scoring three runs on four hits in the sixth, taking back their lead, now 8-5.
Charlotte scored their sixth run in the home-half of the sixth after Daddio grounded out to short to score Jones who led off with a double to left field.
The 49ers trailed by two over the last three innings, collecting only one hit in those innings, being shutdown by Nick Hartman on the mound to end the ball game.
The 49ers got a solid outing from Austin Wynn out of the bullpen, giving up three hits in 2.1 innings pitched, striking out two batters on 36 pitches.
The 49ers will turn to Josh Maciejewski for Saturday’s match-up against Old Dominion, looking to pick up win No. 20 at 2:00 p.m. at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium.