Charlotte hosted the Tennessee Volunteers at Hayes Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The Vols were ranked #14 in the nation going into the game, holding an 11-2 record on the season. Charlotte came into the game with a record of 7-3 and had lost their last two games.
Charlotte found a spark, however.
The 49ers beat Tennessee 9-0 with David McCabe's help returning from injury, which hurt Charlotte's performance in the series against Western Carolina. McCabe contributed to the win going 2-4 with a home run, knocking in two RBIs and walking once.
"[I'm] really proud of our guys for staying with the process and competing as they did. I think 17 players were in the box score for having played tonight, but it took every single player and every single coach and every single support staff member to beat a team like Tennessee like we did tonight; that's a good team," said Head Coach Robert Woodard.
Coach Woodard said, "Getting David back was huge. He's such a big part of our program, not only in the batter's box but his presence on the field and his presence in the dugout… he's a really important piece to making our team go. It's great having him back out tonight."
Charlotte had 15 hits compared to Tennessee's five hits. The game started as a pitcher's duel between the 49ers' starter Austin Marozas and Tennessee's brigade of arms. They opened with for the first six innings, where it was 3-0 going into the 7th inning stretch. Before that inning, the only hits had been singles.
The bottom of the 7th inning is where things got out of hand for the Tennessee Volunteers. They brought in a reliever for that half-inning who gave up a two-run homer to Will Butcher, followed by a solo home run by David McCabe. After the back-to-back home runs, Tennessee brought in a new reliever who, on his first pitch, gave up a bomb to Gino Groover, which was his first career home run.
That was the first time in 49ers' history that they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Niners put up four runs to end the 7th inning. In the 8th inning, Will Butcher hit another two-run homer to grow the lead to 9-0.
The pitching staff was spectacular for Charlotte as the four pitchers combined for a shutout. The four pitchers to contribute to the Niners game were Austin Marozas, Spencer Giesting, Sam Grace and Jackson Boss.
The three relievers Giesting, Grace and Boss, all combined for three hitless innings.
Coach Woodard on the pitching staff said, "when those guys on the mound controlling the pace and controlling the tempo, working like they did tonight, it just spreads."
The standout players for the game were Will Butcher, Craig Keuchel, and Austin Marozas.
Will Butcher batted 3-5 on the game, hitting two 2-run home runs and knocking in 5 RBIs. Craig Keuchel had a strong performance and went 3-5, scoring the first run of the game and being on base for Butcher's second home run.
Austin Marozas got his first start of his 49ers career which earned him a standing ovation from the Hayes Stadium crowd. He threw six scoreless innings, giving up only 5 hits and walking 1. Marozas struck out three batters in his outing.
Woodard said, "Austin Marozas was spectacular tonight. I mean, he was in total control from start to finish of his outing."
The Niners move to 8-3 on the year, and Tennessee is now 11-3 on the season.
"We've seen some really great things from this group of players. We hope that we can continue it and carry it into the weekend at East Carolina," said Woodard.
Charlotte looks to build upon this commanding win as they go to Greenville, North Carolina, to face off against the #9 ranked East Carolina Pirates with a three-game series this upcoming weekend.