Charlotte baseball hosted the No. 24 ranked University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners and split the series, dropping game one 5-3 while pulling out a 12-10 victory in game two.
Weather cut the three-game series down to a single doubleheader played on Thursday, April 6.
After the series, Charlotte moved to 15-15 on the year and 6-5 in Conference USA (C-USA) play. Meanwhile, Head Coach Robert Woodard earned his 100th career win in his 166 games at the helm, a record rate. UTSA moved to 24-8 on the season and 9-2 in C-USA.
"It's moments like this. This is why we do what we do. Not because of the outcome, but because of what it took to get to the outcome," said Woodard. "You can't replicate this. You can't buy it, cut corners, or take shortcuts. This takes a lot of work and a ton of sacrifice. I'm talking about the players, the coaches, the support staff and the administration. It takes everybody. I'm working very hard to stay present and soak this one in."
The first game starting at 11 a.m., started as a pitcher's duel, with the 49ers striking first off an RBI double from Jack Dragum in the third inning.
@Dragum23 keeping his bat 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/aFRiFsT5pY— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 6, 2023
The Roadrunners claimed a 3-1 lead capitalizing on two errors by Charlotte to put them ahead in the fourth. Antonio Valdez made it 4-1 with an RBI triple in the fifth inning.
In the sixth inning, Will Butcher hit a two-run homer for the 49ers to make it 4-3.
That's 🖐️ for @willbutcher15 this year!#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/iEbLP0hbdF— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 6, 2023
Wyatt Hudepohl on the mound kept it close, completing seven innings; while coming out for the eighth inning, he allowed one hit and was relieved by Evan Michelson.
Valdez stole second and third base, then stole home to put UTSA up 5-3 in the eighth.
Michelson didn't give up any runs keeping the game within reach for Charlotte, but the offense couldn't produce at the end leading to a 5-3 loss to the Roadrunners.
Final from game one.Game two coming up in about 45 minutes.#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/qWx0bRFle1— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 6, 2023
UTSA started on fire, pushing across five runs within their first four outs. Up 5-0 in the top of the second inning, the game came to a halt with a lightning delay which held play up for three hours.
After the delay, the game got interesting in the fourth inning as the Roadrunners scored two runs in the top half. However, Charlotte responded by getting on the board and exploding for six runs off a two-run RBI single and back-to-back home runs from Brandon Stahlman and Austin Knight to make the game 7-6.
@bstahlman24 put a little something extra into that one 👀#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/N7ZmcEc4Cb— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 6, 2023
The fifth inning saw Taylor Smith hit a home run for UTSA to put them ahead 8-6, but Cam Fisher hit a two-run homer to tie it 8-8, giving the 49ers a chance to secure the victory.
@32CamFisher had @HuckWathan FIRED. UP!#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/ZP4P1WUXI5— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 6, 2023
Knight hit his second home run of the game to give Charlotte a 9-8 lead which was answered with a sacrifice fly the next inning to tie it at nine apiece going into the eighth inning.
@knightaustin14 got a warning after this.We can only assume it was for the emotional and physical damage he inflicted on that baseball ¯\_(ツ)_/¯#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/fn0jk1uvMS— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 7, 2023
A sacrifice fly and two RBI singles put the 49ers ahead 12-9 heading into the final frame.
Paxton Thompson finished his outing on the mound securing the win by giving up one run in the ninth inning as he completed 4.2 innings pitched, allowing two runs, only one earned.
The 49ers took home Woodard's 100th victory 12-10 in a game that ended almost 10 hours after the doubleheader began.
Ladies and gentlemen, 𝐰𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐭 𝐡𝐢𝐦 😏@rwoodardCLTGo ahead and soak this one in coach! 😂#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/dWwemuajWA— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 7, 2023
The offense keeps rolling for Charlotte. One of the most potent run-producing offenses in the C-USA kept it up as they scored 15 runs on the day against one of the nation's best teams. However, Charlotte's offense which has been keeping them in games all season needed to piece it together with the pitching staff. Additionally, their .500 record could be more positive.
Charlotte showed their resilience battling back from 5-0 following a three-hour rain delay showing their fighting spirit on their way to victory.
The program progresses in the right direction as Woodard eclipses 100 wins as head coach. Charlotte has made the NCAA regionals under his direction and has made him the fastest coach in program history to reach 100 wins.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐤!Congratulations on win No. 1⃣0⃣0⃣ @rwoodardCLT!#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/NQy0Xmehyk— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 7, 2023
Reaching this accomplishment led to Woodard reflecting on his tenure with the 49ers.
"Today, I'm proud of all the former players; for the 99 [wins] in front of this one," said Woodard. "These milestones are for them. I get to live it and try to savor it as much as possible, but it takes everyone. I'm very humbled and very thankful."
Stars of the day
Fisher shined for Charlotte at the plate, batting .444 on the day with four RBI, one home run, a double and two runs.
Another shining piece offensively for the 49ers was Knight, who batted .333 with two home runs, one sacrifice fly, three RBI, one walk and two runs.
The Roadrunners' Valdez led the way, batting .571, with one triple, four stolen bases, two RBI, one walk and three runs.
Charlotte returns home to host the Winthrop University Eagles on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium. The contest will be streaming on ESPN+.
It's a Midweek Gameday at The Hayes!🆚 Winthrop🏟 The Hayes⏰ 6 PM💻 https://t.co/yiGAFLy0gj📈 https://t.co/pBA1ayfZm8🎟 https://t.co/bo8PCkko53#9ATC | #GoldStandard pic.twitter.com/iJGhJF4lfv— Charlotte Baseball (@CharlotteBSB) April 11, 2023