The Charlotte 49ers (23-32) are packing their bags in Hattiesburg, MS Thursday afternoon after losing their first game against No. 1 seed Florida Atlantic 7-5 Wednesday night, then falling short to the No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech 13-3 in eight innings, putting an end to their 2016 campaign and quest for a Conference USA title.
Game 1 : FAU 7, Charlotte 5
Coming out of the gate, the 49ers put the pressure on FAU by putting up three runs in the first inning. Reece Hampton led off the ballgame with a single to right field, moving up to second after a four-pitch walk to Brett Netzer.
After a Logan Sherer ground out to shortstop, T.J. Nichting walked to load the bases for Zach Jarrett. The junior from Hickory, N.C. smacked a singled through the left side, scoring Hampton to put the 49ers up 1-0 with one out.
Hunter Jones hit into a fielders choice to short, scoring Netzer and also Nichting after a wild throw to first base, giving Josh Maciejewski a three-run cushion going into the bottom of the first.
Behind two hits and one Charlotte error, the FAU Owls put together a two-run inning to cut the 49ers lead to just one run, setting the scoring tone for the rest of the game.
In the second, Nick Daddio kept the scoring going with his first home run of the year to left-center, giving Charlotte a slim lead in the second. Later in the home-half of the second, the Owls answered with a run of their own off of three hits and another 49er error.
FAU kept their scoring going in the third, fifth, and sixth innings, adding four total runs, giving the Owls a three-run lead. The 49ers answered in the sixth with a one run off a Zach Jarrett home run to left-center, proving to be the last run Charlotte scored over the last few innings.
Maciejewski (L, 5-7) finished the game throwing 5.2 innings, surrendering seven runs (five earned) on 12 hits and 101 pitches. Philip Perry pitched a strong 2.2 innings in relief, not allowing one hit on 31 total pitches.
With the loss, the 49ers dropped into the loser’s bracket, still having a chance against Louisiana Tech at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
Game 2: La Tech 13, Charlotte 3 (8 innings)
The La Tech Bulldogs scored early on Holden Capps for the 49ers in a “Survive and Advance” game, putting up five runs in the second inning and one in the third, quickly building a six-run lead after three innings.
Charlotte threatened in the third inning with two-out singles from Hampton and Netzer and a FAU error, but failed to take advantage and cut into the Owl lead with two runners in scoring position.
After taking a couple of innings off from scoring, the Owls added on three more runs on four hits in the fifth inning, giving themselves an eight-run lead.
In the seventh, the 49ers showed some fight, scoring two runs, one of those being a solo shot from Jarrett to left-center, his second of the tournament.
Jones doubled to left field, followed by a Derek Gallello single to second base, bringing up Eddie Hull, who grounded into a double play, scoring Jones in the process.
After coughing up another run in the bottom of the seventh, Netzer went big-fly over the right field wall, giving the 49ers three runs on the day.
In the eighth, FAU tagged on three runs to run-rule the 49ers 13-3, putting an end to Charlotte’s quest for a C-USA title and an end to their 2016 season.