Hamilton’s complete game, coupled with five Rhode Island errors and a strong showing by Brad Elwood, gave Charlotte a 5-2 win and set up a date with Xavier tomorrow with a trip to the championship game on the line.
The Niners scored first in the bottom of the first as Elwood’s double scored Shane Basen from first to make it 1-0. After Tim Caputo singled in a run to tie the game in the 3rd, Charlotte took the lead for good in the bottom of the 4th on a Derek Gallello two run single (set up by a Rams error and a controversial hit-by-pitch call favoring Tony Montalbano).
Elwood pitched up another RBI in the 5th as he singled to left; JJ Elseser would come home on an error to make it 4-1. The Rams drew within 4-2 in the top of the 8th but the Niners got it back on back-to-back wild pitches, scoring Elwood to set up the game’s final tally.
Hamilton was strong on the hill. He allowed two runs on just five hits, walking just one and striking out five. Furney allowed four runs off of six hits, but just one of those runs was earned as the Rhody defense struggled for the second straight day. They’ve now committed nine errors over the first two days of the tournament.
There was a scary and controversial moment in the 7th as the Rams’ Mike LeBel collided with Charlotte’s Grant Dunnegan, delaying the game for several moments. After he was declared out for the rest of the game by the tournament’s Charlotte-based, Rhode Island coach Jim Foster came out to protest the decision, accusing them of being biased toward the home-standing Niners.
In any event, Charlotte won, and will play Xavier tomorrow at noon–winner heads to the championship game on Saturday. Rhode Island plays George Washington in an elimination game at 8:30 tonight.