The Charlotte 49ers defeated the VCU Rams 5-4 Tuesday afternoon on a walk-off two-run home run off the bat of pinch-hitter Corbin Shive.
With a runner on second after a crucial error on VCU pitcher Matt Lees and a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Patrick King, Shive hit a ball that sailed over the left field fence and helped secure the win.
“I just went up there trying to put a good swing on the ball. I’ve been struggling with the bat and I just wanted to put the barrel on the ball,” Shive said post-game.
“I just wanted to make something happen, I knew I had a runner in scoring position. I knew I couldn’t try to do too much or I’d mess myself up, so I just tried to put a good swing on the ball and he hung a changeup.”
The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for the 49ers and was the first win for the team since Feb. 22 when Charlotte defeated Canisius 4-3.
Charlotte and VCU had a combined 21 hits, but neither team could sneak away until Shive’s two-run home run ended it.
Freshmen right-handed pitcher Brandon Vogler took the mound for the 49ers and had an impressive first career start. The righty went five innings, surrendering one run on seven hits and striking out two guys. Vogler’s one run allowed was earned when Ryan Mas relieved him with a runner on second.
Despite Vogler’s seven scattered hits, the damage was limited.
The 49ers struck first in the fifth inning with an RBI-single off the bat of Zach Jarrett that drove in Mikal Hill. The inning began with a Jarrett single, a grounder by Logan Sherer that moved him over, a hit-by-pitch on Brad Elwood and the single that drove in Hill.
The Rams quickly responded with four runs in the same inning to take a 4-1 lead, but the 49ers weren’t done as they scored a run in the sixth and seventh innings with RBIs from designated hitter Sherer and right fielder Des Roberts.
Then Shive was able to put the long losing streak to rest.
Head Coach Loren Hibbs was in good spirits after the win and had a lot to say about his team after they surrendered four runs in the sixth.
“I’m just happy for our kids because they are working. People don’t see the work they put in, but they’re just hanging in and grinding, and we got a good win against a good team.”
When asked what he feels will be most important for the team moving forward, Coach Hibbs kept it simple.
“I think they should get a good dinner, maybe get some sleep tonight. Our guys can go to class, scramble down here and play again tomorrow. We’ve been making progress.”
The 49ers were scheduled to play the Liberty Flames on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium, but the game has been cancelled due to weather conditions.