Game 1: Charlotte 6, Marshall 12
Marshall (13-7, 3-1 C-USA) started hitting early. In the first inning, Erik Rodriguez hit a lead-off triple on the first pitch of the game. Then, Tucker Linder hit an RBI single up the middle to drive home Rodriguez. Elvis Peralta reached on a fielding error by first baseman Dominick Cammarata to bring home Linder and gave Marshall a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, Carson Johnson and Tommy Bullock connected on back-to-back one-out singles. Rafi Vazquez hit an RBI double to left to drive home Johnson and bring Charlotte (10-11, 2-2 C-USA) to within one run. Tate Pennington’s groundout to second was a fielder’s choice and sent Bullock home to tie the game at two.
Marshall broke the game open in the fourth inning. Peralta hit a lead-off home run to right center field to take a 3-2 lead. Rey Pastrana walked and Jaren Lovely smacked a single to right field, then Raul Cabrera moved them over on a sacrifice bunt. Geordon Blanton hit a sac fly to score Pastrana and make it a 4-2 ball game. Rodriguez kept the inning alive with a single to right to score Lovely and give the Herd a 5-2 lead. Rodriguez then stole second and third and scored on a Lindor single giving Marshall a 6-2 lead. Shane Hanon closed out the inning with a two-run homer right over the wall in left field as the Herd led 8-2.
49ers starter Carson Pinkney (2-3) left the game with an injury after facing two batters in the fourth.
In the sixth inning, Blanton scored on a two-out wild pitch to give Marshall a 9-2 lead. In the eighth inning, Rodriguez singled home a pair of two-out runs as the Herd led 11-2 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
In the eighth inning, three straight singles loaded the bases for Harris Yett. Yett connected on a grand slam to left field for his fourth home run of the season to get within five runs, 11-6.
In the ninth inning, Pastrana singled home Hanon and Marshall secured the victory with a game-ending double play.
“It’s hard when you’re playing uphill against a team that’s hot like Marshall is,” 49ers head coach Loren Hibbs said. “It makes it pretty difficult. We need to do a better job getting off to a better start tomorrow and give ourselves a chance to manage the game. Marshall’s really hot right now. We knew that coming in. We’re going to have to prepare the right way tomorrow. We’re going to have to step up and play obviously better than we played tonight and get off to a better start.”
Game 2: Charlotte 4, Marshall 5
In the first inning, Harris Yett smacked a double down the left field line to drive home Todd Elwood and give Charlotte (10-12, 2-3 C-USA) a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Drew Ober doubled and scored on Carson Johnson’s RBI single to center field to give the 49ers a 2-0 lead.
Marshall responded with a three-run fourth to take the lead. Elvis Peralta hit a bouncer which starting pitcher Bryce McGowan (2-3) fielded but threw it past the first baseman, allowing one run to score. Rey Pastrana followed with a two-run homer to left field.
In the fifth inning, Tucker Linder connected on an RBI triple that bounced past Ober in left field as he attempted to make a sliding catch.
In the sixth inning, the Niners cut the Herds lead to 4-3 when DH Carter Foster walked with the bases loaded to score Elwood.
Zach Inskeep hit a lead-off home run in the ninth to give Marshall a vital insurance run.
In the bottom of the ninth, the 49ers put their leadoff hitters on first and second. Austin Lynch scored on a throwing error to bring the 49ers within one (5-4) with one out. After a strikeout, reliever Michael Guerrero walked two batters to load the bases before Elwood’s groundout to end the game.
The 49ers left 16 runners on base. They failed to put a runner on base in just one inning.
The Niners left the bases loaded in the fourth, sixth and ninth innings.
“We said yesterday, Marshall’s a hot team,” 49ers head coach Loren Hibbs said. “They took two out of three against FIU last weekend. We have to do some things better with runners in scoring position. We’ll have another opportunity tomorrow.”
Game 3: Charlotte 8, Marshall 5
Charlotte (11-12, 3-3 C-USA) registered 14 hits in the game and had six different players drive home a run in the comeback win over Marshall (14-8, 4-2 C-USA).
In the top of the first inning, Tucker Linder homered to left field on the first pitch to give Marshall an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Todd Elwood scored on an Ober single to right field to tie the game at one.
In the second inning, Raul Cabrera lined out to left field sending Elvis Peralta home to give the Herd a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Harris Yett extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-run single in the three-run second to put Charlotte ahead, 4-2.
In the third inning, Geordon Blanton scored on a Linder single to left field to pull Marshall to within one run.
Marshall scored another run in the fourth to tie the game. Rey Pastrana’s home run to deep left field in the sixth inning gave the Herd a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Charlotte took control of the game. Austin Lynch singled to right field while Yett advanced to third and scored on a fielding error by the right fielder to tie the game at five. Drew Ober scored on a Dominick Cammarata single to give the 49ers a 6-5 lead. Charlotte took a 7-5 lead when Bullock singled to left which scored Cammarata.
In the eighth inning, Charlotte added an insurance run on Lynch’s RBI single to left field.
Colby Bruce threw two scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his third save of the season.
“We had a little more balance in our lineup today and some guys came through in clutch moments,” 49ers head coach Loren Hibbs said. “It was good to see Drew Ober have a good game, Dom got a big hit, good to see Austin Lynch have a good game. We played pretty good defense. Proud of the effort. We put ourselves in position to win and did what we needed to do in the late innings to get the W.”
Charlotte hosts Clemson at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:05 p.m.