Charlotte 49ers baseball: Niners fall to N.C. State

The Charlotte 49ers were shut out all night, until the 9th inning. With the score at 2-1, the tying run was tagged out between 3rd base and home, as the Wolfpack held off the 49ers by a 2-1 margin.

In famous people news, backup Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen made an appearance.  He tweeted that he had not been to a college baseball game in a long time.  And in the dugout, talking to the relief pitcher, was former 49ers Basketball Coach Bobby Lutz, now the Assistant Head Coach at NC State, who posted a picture on Facebook of himself.  Yes, it hurts to see Bobby in enemy fatigues.

NC State is now 29-10, and has won 11 straight.  They are #15 in the country.  Now that Charlotte has shown they can compete with the top teams in the country, they will need to be able to beat lesser teams like Winthrop.  Ironically, Winthrop is the next game, on the road today.  Nine of the next 10 are on the road for the Diamond Niners (22-14).  It’s now or never to show they can make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large.

NC State senior starter Ethan Ogburn pitched 8 1/3 innings to move to 3-2.  Lefty closer Grant Sasser, who pitched 1/3 inning, was credited with the save for NC State.  Charlotte starter Jason Harris went 6 1/3 innings.  Harris had 2 K’s, is 1-4, and has a 3.21 ERA.

Now back to the game.  Charlotte trailed 2-0 after the 2nd, but there was no more scoring until the 9th.  49ers outfielder Tony Montalbano broke up a no-hitter by Ethan Ogburn in the 7th.  NC State won the hit battle, 8-3, and also had the most errors (2-0).

Justin Roland got a hit to get on base in the 9th inning.  Michael Green reached on a fielder’s choice, but Roland was tagged out later.  Ogburn was replaced by Chris Overman who gave up a hit to Tony Montalbano, and recorded one out.  Then Grant Sasser came in, who ended up recording his 6th save.  Second baseman Brad Elwood scored Michael Green.  Unfortunately, Montalbano tried for too much.

It’s a delicate situation.  You’re down a run in the bottom of the 9th Inning, so you want to play aggressive.  However, there are two outs, so you want to take few risks.  You’re in a catch-22 at that point.  Montalbano got too aggressive and was run down between 3rd and home.  If he had stayed at home would we have gotten another run to force a 10th Inning?  Or would we be saying you should have tried to score?  Who knows?

-The Football Team has lost slotback Jaquil Capel.  He had originally committed to Charlotte in writing after verbally committing to Appalachian State.  Now he re-changed his mind back to App.  Unfortunately for Mr. Capel, since he already signed with the Niners on National Signing Day, he’ll now have to sit out a year.  He will obviously not be on the field for Spring Football on April 20.

Charlotte is going to CUSA in FBS, while App State is going to the Sun Belt.  CUSA is usually better, although some Sun Belt teams have been catching up lately.  Although CUSA is still better in the post-season.  Bowl records for this year:  CUSA 4-1, Sun Belt 2-2.

Losing Capel is a significant blow.  He scored four TD’s at the East-West All-Star Game.  Any guy who can dominate other all-stars is tough to replace.  However, football with 11 players and 65 scholarships can withstand a loss better than basketball who has five players and 13 schollies.

-Of course, I’m talking about the loss of Darion Clark.  He played significantly all year, so it should not be playing time.  Clark averaged 17.6 minutes, although in the A-10 Tourney he got two and five minutes.  However, I would think there has to be more to it, than two games with low playing totals to transfer.

Clark was only a freshman, so we are losing three years.  Also, no recruits for next year have been signed yet.  This kind of puts us in a bind.  We will miss Clark’s 6.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg.  Twiter is all abuzz in speculation.

Tags: Baseball Charlotte 49ers Charlotte 49ers Baseball N.C. State Wolfpack

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