May 26, 2011
Game 4 Photo Gallery
CAMDEN, N.J. - Top-seeded Charlotte (40-14) registered its third-straight shutout over fifth-seeded Richmond (27-26-2) on Thursday afternoon, securing the 6-0 victory and the right to advance in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship. With the win, the 49ers, who have now held the Spiders scoreless for 28 consecutive innings, improve to 40-14 on the season and will face the winner of the No. 2 Rhode Island/No. 6 La Salle match-up on Friday, May 27 at 12:00PM at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J.
"We need to rest now," commented Charlotte Head Coach Loren Hibbs. "I told my guys it's better to play at noon than 3:30. Last year we got beat by Saint Louis first game and we had to play the 3:30 game. Whether its LaSalle or Rhode Island it's going to be a dog fight. We know both of them can play and our well coached. We're just going to rest and come back at it tomorrow. "
Charlotte scored the only run it would need in the bottom half of the third inning on a squeeze play, as Justin Roland laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Corey Shaylor.
Richmond pitched itself into a jam the following inning, allowing Charlotte to add a trio of insurance runs and take the 4-0 advantage. Charlotte's Cory Tilton capitalized on a Bret Williams' wild pitch, before Corbin Shive drilled a two-run double to left field to score Shane Basen and Justin Wilson.
Tilton once again aided Charlotte's scoring effort in the fifth frame, as the Cary, N.C., native used a single down the right field line to score Roland. Wilson added the 49ers sixth and final run of the outing in the bottom of eighth, crossing the plate off a Ross Steedley double to left.
Charlotte's Andrew Smith (9-4), the A-10 Pitcher of the Year, earned the win, tossing seven shutout innings with five strikeouts and just one hit.
"This win is a big deal," commented Smith. "It was a great win and takes some of the pressure off now. The next couple of games are going to be tough, we have to take care of business, do what we do and hopefully the next couple of games work out."
Spider pitcher Bret Williams (7-3) went the distance on the mound and took the loss, allowing five earned runs and recording a pair of strikeouts. Richmond falls to 27-26-2 on the season and will await its fate based on the today's 3:30PM contest between Rhode Island and La Salle. If Rhode Island wins, the Spiders will play on Friday at 3:30PM, however if La Salle defeats the Rams, UR will play No. 3 Dayton tonight at 7:00PM.
Play will continue at 3:30Pm today, as No. 2 Rhode Island opens competition in the Championship, squaring off against No. 6 La Salle. Live audio of the game will be available through the A-10's official website - www. atlantic10.com.