The Charlotte 49ers (10-6) lost 2-of-3 to the No.8-ranked East Carolina Pirates (12-4) over the weekend in Greenville, North Carolina, despite winning the first game 2-0 and then coming back from a six-run deficit in the second game to send it in to extra innings.
Colton Laws got the start Friday night against his former team, punching out a career-high nine batters through 7.1 innings on the hill, only giving up three hits along the way. Jake Agnos of ECU threw 6.0 innings, walking four batters on 92 pitches, while only giving up five hits to the Charlotte batters.
Matt Brooks (W, 2-0) continued his stellar freshman campaign as he came in to finish what Laws started, getting two big outs to send the game into the ninth, squared up, 0-0. Zach Smith led off the inning with a double to right-center, as Todd Elwood came in to pinch run for Smith. Just two pitches later, Harris Yett delivered for the Niners, scoring Elwood on a single to left field.
A few batters later, Brett Netzer scored Yett from third base on a single to center field on a 3-2 pitch, giving the 49ers a 2-0 lead. Jonah Patten (S, 3) sealed the deal for Charlotte in the bottom of the ninth, striking out three batters to give the 49ers their second win this season over a top-10 team, proving to be the only time in program history.
ECU jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through the first two innings, but couldn’t hold off Charlotte as the 49ers chipped away at the lead with one run in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, trailing by four heading into the top of the ninth.
In the ninth, Reece Hampton led off the inning with a double, scoring on an error by the shortstop off the bat of Netzer to cut into the lead, trailing 4-7. Jackson Mims then hit a two-run home run to right field against his former team, as Charlotte only trailed by one run with one out. T.J. Nichting and Zach Jarrett both got on with singles to the outfield, as Smith approached the plate. After a quality at bat from Smith, he earned on a walk on the eighth pitch, only to see that pitch go to the backstop, scoring Nichting from third and tying the game up, 7-7.
ECU’s Charlie Yorgan hit a two-out, walk-off home run in the tenth to give the Pirates a 10-7 victory.
Zach Flanagan started for Charlotte in the last game of the three-game series, throwing a career-high six innings and punching out eight Pirate batters. With a runner at third base in the first, ECU jumped out to another early lead behind a passed ball. ECU capitalized on a wild pitch as well in the seventh to score their second run of the game, as Charlotte’s bats went dead in the nightcap.
The 49ers earned their only two hits in the fifth and the eighth from Smith and Jarrett, but they were unable to be moved around or brought in.
The 49ers will come back home Tuesday night at 4 p.m. as they take on UNC Asheville.