The Charlotte 49ers came within one run in the ninth inning and had the game-tying run at second base but they could not bring the runner home as the Niners fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks, 5-4.
South Carolina (20-13) put a run on the board first in the second inning. After the first two batters of the inning were walked, Brady Allen hit an RBI single into right field which gave the Gamecocks and early 1-0 lead.
Charlotte (12-19-1) responded by scoring a run in three straight innings. Josh Haney started off the third inning with a single into center field and advanced to third off a passed ball. With Haney at third, TJ Shook threw a wild pitch which helped bring in the first run of the night for the Niners. Tommy Bullock homered to left field in the fourth inning which gave Charlotte their first lead of the game. Todd Elwood started off the top half of the fifth inning with a single into center field. Harris Yett followed up with a double into right center which brought Elwood home, giving Charlotte a 3-1 lead.
However, South Carolina would go on to score the next four runs over a three-inning span. The Gamecocks started the bottom of the fifth inning with the first two batters getting on base. With runners on first and second, Jonah Beamon hit a single into right field, bringing in one run while Allen advanced to third base on the throw. The next batter, Noah Campbell, hit a single into center, bringing in Allen to tie the game. In the fifth inning, Charlotte allowed two runs off three hits and allowed three walks.
South Carolina kept scoring in the sixth inning as Andrew Eyster hit a homerun to right center which gave the Gamecocks the lead. Campbell tripled into deep left center field in the seventh inning. George Callil hit a fly ball into right field, giving Campbell the opportunity to beat the throw and safely reach home, which gave the Gamecocks a two-run lead.
With Charlotte trailing 5-3 going into the ninth inning, Bullock started the inning off by getting on base off a walk. However, pinch-hitter Austin Lynch hit a groundball to second, forcing an out at second base while Lynch reached first base. With Lynch advancing to second, Alec Roberts, also pinch-hitting, smacks a double into right field, bringing in Lynch and pulling the Niners within one run. With two outs and the tying run at second, Drew Ober struck out swinging, ending the rally for the Niners.
Bullock reached base every at-bat for Charlotte, hitting a double and a homerun while also getting walked twice. Bullock, Yett and Roberts each hit a double for the Niners.
Mason Herbert started on the mound for the Niners, pitching four innings while giving up three runs on only two hits. The 49ers pitchers combined to strike out three batters and allowed six walks.
Sawyer Bridges earned the win for the Gamecocks, pitching one inning, struck out three batters and only allowing one hit. The South Carolina pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts on the night.
Charlotte returns to Hayes Stadium this weekend as they host the Rice Owls for a three game series. Game one is slated to start on Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m.