The Charlotte 49ers (8-8) went mano-a-mano with the undefeated NC State Wolfpack (16-0) at BB&T Ballpark. The 49ers couldn’t secure a tying run in the ninth inning resulting in a 6-5 loss to the Wolfpack.
“I told our guys this was a College World Series level game,” said Coach Loren Hibbs.
Charlotte set the tone of the matchup by scoring first off of a single by Tate Pennington and two RBIs from Carson Johnson and Drew Ober in the third inning.
Starting pitcher Chase Gooding was magnificent at the mound, only allowing one hit and striking out three batters in three innings of play.
NC State responded to the 49ers third inning rally in the fifth inning with an RBI single from Jonny Butler that batted in Lawson McArthur.
The 49ers wouldn’t let their momentum be halted as Dominick Cammarata hit a homer down the left-field line in the sixth inning to put the Niners up 3-1. The 49ers would score again in the seventh inning as Johnson hit his second RBI of the contest which batted in Todd Elwood.
The eighth inning didn’t fare well for the 49ers defensively as they allowed two back-to-back runners on base, which set up a three RBI homer from Patrick Bailey that tied up the ball game 4-4.
The ninth inning sealed the deal for the Wolfpack as they scored twice off an RBI single from Will Wilson and a walk from Brad Debo, which scored Wilson to put NC State up 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Charlotte willed their way back to 6-5 off an RBI double from Johnson — his third of the ball game — and it batted in Tommy Bullock. The 49ers couldn’t get the tying run as Harris Yett flied out to right-field to end the game.
“We played really well for seven innings and we showed we’re capable at times of playing at an extremely high level,” said Coach Hibbs.
The 49ers accumulated 12 hits at 37 at-bats opposed to the Wolfpack’s nine hits at 35 at-bats. Charlotte had one error in the sixth inning.
Johnson and Yett led the team in hits with three apiece. Johnson led the team in RBIs with three.
The 49ers will begin Conference-USA play as they travel to Bud Metheny Baseball Facility for a three-game series against Old Dominion (12-3) Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m.