May 9, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Charlotte scored four runs in the first inning and combined for four more in the third and fourth to help lead the 49ers to a series-opening 8-2 win over Louisiana Tech on Friday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Charlotte's eight runs in the first four innings of play were enough to propel the 49ers to a win, as the Bulldogs' pitchers held Charlotte (15-29-1, 7-17 C-USA) scoreless after the fourth inning. LA Tech (15-30, 5-20 C-USA) tacked on a run in both the fifth and eighth innings, but the early deficit was too much to overcome in the series opener. Despite the win, Charlotte was officially eliminated from the Conference USA Tournament after Middle Tennessee earned a victory tonight.
Corey Roberts earned the win for Charlotte after giving up just two runs on six Bulldog hits in 7.2 innings of work. Roberts (3-4) had three strikeouts and no walks in the outing, before Nate Trough came on in the eighth and did not allow a base runner in the final 1.1 innings of the game.
Starter Austin Greer (1-1) was charged with the loss for Tech, as he gave up six runs on five hits in just 1.1 innings on the mound before reliever Eric Dunbar took over in the second inning. Dunbar stopped the bleeding for the most part by allowing two runs on five hits over the course of 6.2 innings of relief work. Braden Bristo made an appearance on the mound in the ninth and had two walks, but was able to pitch out of a bases loaded jam to end the inning.
With two on and two outs in the top of the first, Charlotte wasted no time getting on the board after a two-run double down the right field line by Des Roberts gave the 49ers a 2-0 lead. Another walk gave Charlotte runners on the corners and set up another two-run double by Brett Lang, which put the Bulldogs in a 4-0 deficit before coming to bat in the first.
A lead-off home run by Zach Jarrett in the second gave the 49ers a 5-0 lead, before T.J. Nichting followed up with a single to left, which forced Greer out of the game. Logan Sherer and Roberts then each had back-to-back singles to score Charlotte's sixth run of the game and make it a 6-0 lead for the visitors.
Roberts helped extend Charlotte's lead to 8-0 in the fourth after a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right field gave the 49ers' right fielder his third hit of the game and five runs batted in.
LA Tech added its first run of the game in the fifth after Tyler Ervine led off the inning with a single to right field. Ervine advanced to second on a ground ball by Thomas Simoneaux and later scored on an RBI double to left field by Taylor Burch to make it 8-1. The Bulldogs cut Charlotte's lead to 8-2 later on in the eighth after Taylor Love was hit by a pitch with two outs. Chandler Hall pinch ran for Love and scored from first base on an RBI double by Jacob Derouen.
Burch and Derouen drove in the only two runs of the game for the Bulldogs, as both players had doubles in the loss. Ervine led Tech with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with a run scored. Colby Johnson and Ryan Jones also had base hits for the Bulldogs on the night.
Roberts helped lead Charlotte to a win with a five-RBI performance at the dish, while also recording a home run, a double and two runs scored. Roberts also reached base on a walk. Lang had two RBI on one hit, while Nichting was 2-for-5 with two runs for the 49ers. Charlotte out-hit the Bulldogs, 10-6, in the opener.
The series resumes at 3 p.m. on Saturday with right-hander Phil Maton set to start on the mound for the Bulldogs. Charlotte will start right-hander Ryan Butler on the mound.
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