Baseball Preview

Charlotte is coming off a midweek win over Coastal Carolina. 

The Charlotte baseball team will face the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Friday, April 22 at 6 p.m at Hayes Stadium for the first game of the weekend series. The second game of the series will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. and the third on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Niners' current overall record on the season sits at 20-16, with a conference record of 5-10. The UAB Blazers have an overall record of 23-13 and a conference record of 8-7. 

The Blazers are currently tied at sixth place overall in the conference, and the Niners sit in eighth. Winning the series for Charlotte could mean moving up in the rankings, while winning for the Blazers could mean separating themselves from the current tie, putting them further up in the rankings. 

The matchup history between the two teams dates back to April of 1979 when UAB took their first win against Charlotte. The overall record between the two teams is 28-25, with UAB leading. In their most recent series dating back to May 2019, Charlotte lost two out of three games within the three-day faceoff. 

The Niners have not won a game at their home stadium against the Blazers since March of 2018.

Scouting the Blazers

UAB's go-to starting rotation will be in effect this weekend with Jackson Reynolds (2-3, 2.70 ERA) taking the mound this Friday. Tyler O'Clair (1-2, 5.89 ERA) will take his spot on the mound Saturday and Brooks Walton (5-2, 4.80 ERA) on Sunday. 

Walton is currently tied for second within Conference USA (C-USA) with five wins, among those who have met the current minimum for amount of innings pitched.

Christian Hall (.389) is one of four Blazers batting over .300. Hall has reached base safely in 28 straight games. Logan Braunschweig (.319), John Marc Mullins (.303) and Henry Hunter (.301) are other Blazers who will be entering the series against the Niners batting over .300. 

Scouting the Niners

On Tuesday's game against Coastal Carolina, eight out of nine of Charlotte's batters in the lineup marked at least one hit on the stat sheet. 

Austin Knight (.286) collected a game-high of three hits and a double, making him one of four Niners to notch an extra-base hit. Jake Cunningham (.281) and Kaden Hopson (.225) make the second and third Niners to have an extra-base hit along with a homerun from Cunningham and a triple from Hopson. It was a two-hit night for both of the players. Nate Furman (.379) was the final Niner with an extra-base hit as he doubled in the eighth. He reached the base four times after drawing three walks to go with his hit. 

Matt Brooks (2-1, 2.73 ERA) had his sixth start of the season and pitched the first four innings. AJ Wilson (2-0, 7.52 ERA) took over after Brooks recorded four strikeouts in the outing. Tony Rossi (3-0, 2.93 ERA) also took his spot on the mound and notched the win for the Niners, only allowing one hit in the two innings. Spencer Giesting (1-4, 6.10 ERA) and Colby Bruce (1-2, 5.06 ERA) also put in the work on the mound, as Giesting struck out the side in the eighth inning on 13 pitches. Bruce took the stage to round off the game within the ninth inning and notched a strikeout as well.

Looking to game day

The game will be available for streaming on ESPN+ beginning at 6 p.m.

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