Tuesday’s home game against High Point is the final regular season game for five of the Charlotte 49ers’ six true seniors and three redshirt seniors. But the nine were honored in Saturday’s Senior/Graduation Day game against Dayton.
Graduation day was an exciting feeling around here due to the fact that a large group of these players–six in all–received their degrees that morning. John Hamilton took his excitement to the mound, as he pitched a six-hit shutout to lead the Niners to a 3-0 win over Dayton, giving them their seventh straight victory and yet another Atlantic 10 series win.
Each of these nine players have left their mark on the Charlotte program. Shane Basen, despite a hitless day, has 64 on the year (2nd on the team), is third on the team in batting average (.315) and leads the way with 39 RBIs. Michael Green (25/28), the speedster, has been nearly unstoppable on the basepaths. Wes Hatley (1-2, 2.05 ERA, 22.0 IP) has been a strong option in the bullpen. Corbin Shive, who hasn’t played this year, will be back for his redshirt senior season in 2014, the Niners’ first year back in Conference USA. J.J. Elseser, while not an everyday starter, has been a veteran presence in the outfield. He’s put together a nice couple of weeks lately. Tony Montalbano, battling back from injury early in the season, has put together a solid final year, hitting .315 in 31 games (29 starts). Justin Roland, who has missed the past five games due to injury, has been a mainstay at shortstop, and started over 200 games at the position before going down. Even Sean Pope, who hasn’t seen a ton of time out of the bullpen, enjoyed success in 2011 when he didn’t allow a run in five appearances.
This group looks like they’ll be playing a few more games together as the A-10 playoffs are hosted at The Hayes in a few weeks. And, if things work out, they’ll be playing beyond that as well: in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, here’s a video back from 2011 with several of the (now) seniors:
–Track and field had a couple of meets over the past week–the last opportunity for individuals to qualify for the NCAA Regionals. Among top Niner finishers at the Georgia Tech Invitational: Anthony Campbell, who took 3rd in the triple jump. At the Wolfpack Last Chance invitational, Jake Deaton (discus), Isaac McReynolds (110m hurdles) and Daweet Dagnachew (3000m steeplechase) won their respective events. Several Niners will be partaking in the NCA&T Last Chance meet in Greensboro on Sunday.