The Charlotte 49ers opened their season with a 3-0 sweep against Iona this past weekend. Their win on Friday marked the Niners’ third consecutive victory on Opening Day.
Game One: Charlotte 9, Iona 2
On Friday the Niners debuted their season at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium against the Gaels. Iona started the game a bit rusty with a few errors in the first two innings giving the Niners the opportunity to get an early lead. In the second inning, Dominick Cammarata was on second as Todd Elwood got up to bat and hit a single over to left field to get the bases loaded. As Tommy Bullock got up to bat he drove in the first two runs of the season with a single up the middle.
As the game continued into the third inning, Harris Yett on a 3-1 count connected and sent the ball home scoring a solo home run which created a 4-0 lead for the Niners. Iona put two runs up in the fifth inning, only making it a 4-2 game. In the last two innings the Niners held down their lead against the Gaels to win their season opener 9-2.
Starting pitcher, Matt Brooks, performed in a total of 4.2 innings on Friday only allowing one run and three hits. Brooks performed a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Relief pitcher, Joey Cooner, debuted in relief, coming in for the last out in the fifth inning. He was good for 2.2 innings and shutout Iona. To close out the game, Colby Bruce finished the last 1.2 innings of the season opener by only allowing two hits and had two strikeouts.
Game Two: Charlotte 6, Iona 2
On Saturday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium the starting pitcher, Josh Maciejewski, stole show on the mound. With a total of 11 strikeouts at his six innings played, he tied his career high. He did not run into any trouble in the first three innings, but he has a bit of a jam in the fourth. In the fourth the last two hitters both struck out on swings which got them out of the crunch. As the next two innings came and went, Maciejewski had no fear in striking out these hitters and closing out his first innings of the year.
Bullock and Reece Hampton complimented Maciejewski’s pitching with two singles to start off the game in the first inning. In the third inning, Jackson Mims took a walk with four consecutive balls with them Drew Ober laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Mims over to second. By the end of the third the Niners were up 3-0, scoring Mims at second by a pass ball from second. As the game continued, the Niners kept taking advantage of any errors made by Iona and ended their second game of the season with another victory 6-2
Game Three: Charlotte 10, Iona 3
On Sunday the Niners began their third game against Iona strong offensively. In the first inning, Iona got on the board initially which created their only lead the Gaels had all weekend. In the second, the Niners came back while hitting with Cammarata who got walked and Zack Smith with a base hit to right field to get the bases loaded. Hunter Jones then scored Cammarata with a single to center field.
After scoring their first run and tying the game 1-1, Elwood put the Niners on top with a linedrive to center scoring Jones and Hampton then got walked on a 3-1 count with the bases loaded. This concluded the inning.
In the sixth inning Iona began to try and make a comeback with three straight doubles and got the run to reach 6-3 for the Niners. In the eighth with the bases loaded, Hampton cleared the bases with the line drive rip to the outer wall to drive in three bases. At the end of the game, Sims added one extra RBI to finish off the Iona Gaels with 10-3 at the end of the weekend.
The 49ers are now set to hit the road for their first road contest of the season. They will travel to N.C. State on Wednesday, Feb. 21 for a game at 3 p.m.