Charlotte baseball

Charlotte's Bryce McGowan throws a pitch during a game in 2020. 

Charlotte baseball opens up its 2021 season at home as they will take on the Eagles of Morehead State. The Niners return to the diamond with optimism for a new season after a long wait. 

“The team is chomping at the bit to get back on the field,” said Head Coach Robert Woodard in a preseason interview. “I’m excited to see them fly around the field and get in the box.”

The three-game series will begin on Friday, Feb. 19, and go through Sunday, Feb. 21. Charlotte, who finished last season with a 9-8 record, has a lot to prove. Morehead State is coming off of a disappointing campaign last season with a finishing record of 5-10. They will hope to get things started positively against the Niners. 

According to Charlotte baseball's twitter, this weekend's pitching rotation will be Andrew Lindsey (Friday), Christian Lothes (Saturday) and Bryce McGowan (Sunday).     

Important Notes

This is the first game the Niners played since the season ended abruptly on March 13 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head Coach Robert Woodard will look to coach his first full season with the team. After only playing 17 games last season, it will be a learning experience for the team. 

The Niners have also not played a home game since March 8, 2020, when they took on East Carolina. Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium will finally get to see the team return home. 

Key Players

Dominic Pilolli, Charlotte:

The sophomore had a fantastic first season with the Niners and will look to pick up where he left off this season. As a freshman, Pilolli had a .403 batting average as well as 27 hits on the season. Pilolli will need to step up if the Niners hope to come out on top. 

Carson Johnson, Charlotte:

Johnson returns for his senior season coming off of a stellar campaign last year where he was second in hits for the team. Johnson got on base at a high rate as his on-base percentage was an outstanding .788. 

Colby Bruce, Charlotte:

The senior pitcher had a shortened season still filled with many accomplishments. Bruce boasted a 1-0 record as well as leading the team in strikeouts with 23. Bruce will look to be a steady contributor again this year. 

Stephen Hill, Morehead State:

Hill who returned to the team was given some impressive honors in the offseason as he was named the Preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference baseball list. This comes on the heels of a great season for the redshirt senior as he was able to lead the team with 15 hits and 11 runs.  

Keys to a Victory

Limiting Errors:

Charlotte will need to play smart and limit mistakes in the series if they hope to get the season started right. Errors can put the Niners in a hole early that could make a challenging season. Playing smart will be something that Charlotte needs to do if they hope to win. 

Getting on the Board:

The Niners will need to keep the bats hot if they hope to get out in front on the scoreboard. Charlotte will need to score early and often, which will increase their chances of coming out on top in the series. The team will look to it’s veterans to produce in big spots. 

“We are going to hit the field hard and attack the pitchers on the mound as well as competing hard in our at-bats,” said Woodard. “We want to be a team with a high motor because it will spread throughout our players.” 

The games will be broadcasted on Conference USA radio. 

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