Historically, wins have come fairly easy for the Charlotte 49ers baseball team. This year? Not so much.
A uncharacteristic swoon that has seen them lose 15 of their last 17 puts the Niners at 3-16-1 on the season (0-9 in Conference USA). They hope that changes in a pair of midweek games (Winthrop today, UNC Asheville tomorrow), as well as in a conference road trip to Old Dominion this weekend.
Unfortunately for the team, they just haven’t been able to put it all together. They scored five in one inning against East Carolina this past weekend only for the bullpen to give it back in the next half inning. Their offense and defense struggled in Saturday’s second game against the Pirates, despite a solid performance on the mound by Brock Hudgens. That was after taking a 3-2 lead to the top of the ninth a night before, only to fall 5-3.
“We haven’t been good enough on the back end of our bullpen…with our infield defense…offensively…and running the bases,” said coach Loren Hibbs after another conference weekend that saw the Niners come away empty. “Our starting pitching’s been alright at times, but other times it’s kind of let us down. It’s a different thing, it seems like, every game.”
On the mound today: Corbin Shive (0-2, 3.75) for the Niners going up against Jason Drive (2-1, 2.12). Brandon Vogler (0-0, 1.29) gets the call for Charlotte tomorrow against a pitcher to be determined for Asheville.
It’s the first of two scheduled for the Niners against their cross-border rivals–Charlotte travels back to Rock Hill on April 9. Asheville returns to The Hayes for the second time–the Bulldogs beat the Niners 5-1 on March 5.