The hard times continue for the Charlotte 49ers baseball team.
Kicking off their Conference USA schedule in their return to the league, the Niners (2-10-1) suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the 21st-ranked FIU Panthers (15-1) to put their winless streak at 10 games.
Game 1: FIU 7, Charlotte 0
Both teams started with zeros through the first four innings before the Panthers broke through in the top of the fifth on a Tyler Hibbert RBI single. They would stretch it to 3-0 in the 6th on a two RBI single by J.C. Escarra and add four in the eighth to pull away. Mike Franco threw a gem, allowing five hits, walking one and striking out six.
Game 2: FIU 10, Charlotte 4
This one would turn out to be the “closer” of the three as the Niners finally found the scoreboard. Starter Corey Roberts was shelled, allowing three home runs (two to Aramis Garcia) as FIU led 7-4 after two innings. Charlotte was shut out offensively the rest of the way as reliever Cody Crouse pitched 6.1 perfect innings in relief of Mike Ellis; Jason Morozkowski threw a scoreless ninth to put away a frustrated Niner team that couldn’t get anything going after the 2nd.
Game 3: FIU 8, Charlotte 0
The Panthers brought the hitting and pitching in game three as Robby Kalaf threw seven solid innings of two-hit ball in the win. A 3-0 contest after six ballooned to 4-0 in the seventh on a Hibbert RBI single, then 5-0 on a throwing error in the 8th, and finally to 8-0 on Garcia’s third home run of the weekend.
Next up: VCU on Tuesday, followed by Liberty on Wednesday.