Photo credit: Charlotte Baseball
The Niners extended their win streak to 5 games with a big sweep of Rice on the road. It’s the first time this season Charlotte’s won more than 3 games in-a-row, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Charlotte now finds themselves at 49th in RPI, ironically, and have a massive chance to up that number even more to give themselves a really solid shot at a postseason berth. Charlotte couldn’t have done much better on the mound as they gave up just 3 runs the entire series. With Wyatt Hudepohl earning conference pitcher of the week honors, and both he and Andrew Spolyar gaining recognition from D1 baseball as two of the top pitchers of the weekend.
The Niners will head to Chapel Hill to take on the Heels for the second time this season on Tuesday night, then immediately head back home to the queen city to play ECU in Truist the next day. Both North Carolina and ECU are in the top 20, ECU sits at number 7, according to D1 baseball, but a win against either team would be a pivotal win for Charlotte to have on their resume. Since North Carolina’s 16 run drudging of Charlotte on their home field in March, Charlotte’s given up just 2.7 runs per game, with an ERA of 2.96, an interesting storyline heading into Tuesday night’s contest. To put that into perspective, that raw number would put Charlotte second in the country. Should be safe to expect a lower number on the scoreboard in both games this week.
It’s always great to put Charlotte on a national stage against the nation’s best teams, it’s even better when you beat them, but playing two games against ranked in-state opponents could cause problems in conference this weekend. Charlotte will trot out Hale Sims on the mound vs North Carolina, the rest is unknown but regardless, whoever throws this week won’t be fully rested if they go this weekend. Charlotte’s pitching staff has been up to the challenge in the last couple weeks, but a really competitive week lies ahead and it will be interesting to note how Charlotte responds no matter the result Tuesday and Wednesday night.
This is the mid-season grind of college baseball, especially for a team clawing for the right to compete in a regional. Pitching depth is critical and something that if you don’t have will show. If Charlotte’s arms can withstand the frenzy and give the Niners a chance to win through the weekend, they deserve all the credit in the world.