After a heart-breaking loss to Fairfield (4-8) Friday, Charlotte (8-8) responded with two wins on Saturday.
Practically the entire bullpen saw action in the two games. Of note was the performance of Colton Laws, who started the first game and during his time on the mound pitched a shutout. Holden Capps also had a stellar performance in the second game. The reliever went for six innings and recorded a career-high seven strikeouts.
Freshman DH Drew Ober had a stellar night at the plate, going 1-3 in the first game and 5-7 in the second. He was a homerun short of hitting for the cycle. T.J. Nichting and Zach Jarrett both recorded four hits through both games.
Head coach Loren Hibbs was appreciative of the passion shown on the field today by the players.
“It was a good day. Our guys really competed today, I’m proud of their effort,” Hibbs said. “You can’t simulate playing double headers, to dig down and win both games is a testament to our guys.”
Game 1: Charlotte- 6 Fairfield- 2
Starting his first game on the mound for Charlotte was Colton Laws. During his time on the mound (Seven innings) he pitched a shutout with two K’s and allowed only three hits. Coming in to relieve Laws was Drew Morrison who pitched one inning, striking out one batter. Closing out for the 49ers was Austin Wynn, who also recorded one strikeout.
The early start Hibbs was wishing for after Friday’s game came happened Saturday afternoon during the second inning.
Ober was put on base after being hit by a pitch, Nichting came up and singled down the right field line. Up next was Jarrett, who moved Ober to third after he hit a shot to the right side. Ober crossed home when Fairfield walked catcher Nick Daddio. Nichting took advantage of a wild pitch and put another run on the scoreboard. The final run of the inning came from Jarrett off of a ground ball hit by Hunter Jones.
The scoring continued into the third inning. Derek Gallello got on base with a single straight up the middle. He then stole second and third and was driven home after Logan Sherer got a base knock. Sherer moved around the bases and was got home on a sac fly by Jarrett.
In the seventh inning, the 49ers tacked one more on the board. Reese Hampton singled to third base, stole second and then scored from second on a Gallello single up the middle.
Charlotte was able to keep Fairfield off of the scoreboard until the eighth inning when they hit a controversial two run home run. The score remained 6-2 for the rest of the game.
Game 2: Charlotte-8 Fairfield-7
Charlotte didn’t start the second game strongly. Starter Josh Maciejewski went for three innings, he gave up seven runs on four hits and six errors. He struck out two batters and walked three.
Coming in for relief was Brandon Volger. Volger pitched for two innings, held the Stags scoreless, recorded a strikeout and allowed only two hits. After Volger, lefty Holden Capps was called from the pen.
Capps would go for six innings not allowing any hits or runs. He set a new career high with seven K’s. Next on the mound was Austin Wynn. Wynn would only last one out, then Matt Horkey came out of the bullpen. Horkey was good for two outs, next came Casas who was pulled after the Stags got a single. Next from the bullpen was Craver, who finished the game with one strikeout.
In the top of the third, all of the wheels fell off for Charlotte defensively, committing three errors and allowing five runs to score. Fairfield led 7-0 going into the bottom of the third inning.
Charlotte was resilient and answered the Stag’s five-run inning by scoring four. Derek Fritz led off for the 49ers and got a single to the left side, he moved to second from a sac bunt from Jones. Hampton hit a shot down the right field line for a double, advancing Fritz across the plate. After Sherer was walked, Brett Netzer bounced one off the wall in left field and got a stand-up double, scoring Hampton. Ober came up next and with two outs hit a single, pushing Sherer and Netzer across the plate.
Neither team scored again until the sixth. Fritz and his beard hit a shot to left field and got a two-run homer. The Niners came within one, 7-6, headed into the seventh inning.
Jones tied the game at 7 in the eighth. He got on base with a single up the middle, then Hampton came up and got a double. Eddie Hull pinched hit and got a sacrifice fly, bringing Jones home.
The game would continue to extra innings. The Niners got the bases loaded in the tenth with one out, but to no avail. Onto the eleventh, Ober laid a gorgeous bunt down the third-base line for a hit. He would, however, be left on base. In the thirteenth inning, Ober got on base with a single, Nichting came up next and hit a walk-off double for the Niners to win, 8-7.
After seeing all that his players are capable of, the key is to carry this over into further games.
“Now it’s a matter of can we do this consistently, can we bring this effort consistently, and we think we can. We’re looking for consistency and our guys know that,” Hibbs said.
Charlotte takes on Wake Forest next at the Hayes, Wednesday at 6 p.m.