CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team dropped its series-opener against Charlotte on Friday evening at Hayes Stadium, falling 8-4 to the 49ers in non-conference action.
The Bulldogs (9-22) jumped out to an early lead by plating three runs in the top of the first inning, before Charlotte (18-11) answered with two of their own in the bottom of the frame. The 49ers would hold the Bulldogs to just one run the rest of the game, scoring six more of their own to earn the victory.
“We helped them a little bit too much tonight, with 11 walks and two errors,” said Asheville skipper Tom Smith. “We had a couple of chances early and didn’t take advantage, stranding a few guys. In the first inning we got three runs and then gave them two back. We just didn’t play with the same energy as we did against Western Carolina on Wednesday.”
Catcher Ian Graham saw his reach base streak extended to 28 games, going 1-for-5 at the plate with a run batted in. Shortstop Tommy Houmard and third baseman Robert McIntosh each collected two hits for the Blue & White, with each posting a run scored in the contest.
Freshman hurler Lucas Clarke (1-2) was credited with the loss for the Bulldogs, starting the game and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings of work.
49er starter Tyler Barnette (3-1) shook off his shaky start to pitch 6.2 innings for Charlotte. Barnette allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Charlotte was led offensively by designated hitter Brett Lang, who went 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. Third baseman Shane Basen and first baseman Grant Dunnegan each collected two hits for the 49ers, with Basen scoring three runs.
The two teams will play game two of the series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. at Hayes Stadium. UNC Asheville will throw right-handed pitcher Dean Roland, while the 49ers have slated lefty John Hamilton to start.