Charlotte opens C-USA play with a road series win

by Mar 20, 2023Baseball

Photo credit: Charlotte Athletics

Charlotte returned with a much-needed series win, and a few pairs of blue cleats.

Charlotte arrived on campus at Louisiana Tech Thursday afternoon with a rather daunting dilemma. One of the team busses battery died, leaving several of the player’s gear locked away under the bus. With no gear and no way to get to the stadium, the weekend series was off to a rocky start. Luckily LA Tech was more than accommodating, allowing the game to start 20
minutes late, and also gifting several Niner players a pair of blue cleats.

Charlotte finally got the performance they’ve needed on the mound this year, giving up only 8 runs all weekend. The highlight of the series came with Cameron Hansen’s 7 ⅔ shutout performance tossed on Sunday afternoon. Wyatt Hudepohl put another solid performance on the board Friday night even in a loss, as he continues to mold into the Friday night guy the Niners will need to count on going forward. Charlotte also saw solid outings from Andrew Spolyar and Evan Michelson. Hale Sims did his job as well.

The Niners played complementary baseball at the plate in games 2 and 3 (both wins for the good guys), exploding for 23 runs after scoring only 1 in the Friday night in a 2-1 loss. Charlotte saw big days from Dante DeFranco and Blake Jackson in game two, and Jack Dragum seems like he’s back to elite form from a year ago. He went 7/11 on the weekend with 5 RBIs. Ironically, he was wearing blue cleats.

Tough Schedule Paying Off?

LA Tech is one of the better teams in the conference this season, picked to finish first pre-season in Conference USA’s poll. Seeing Charlotte handle business and play a complimentary brand of baseball was refreshing. Something we haven’t seen much to this point in the season. It looks like the tough non-conference could be benefiting the Niners moving forward. It’s still early, but Charlotte will have plenty of opportunities to get going in the coming weeks. None bigger than a trip to uptown Tuesday night to take on 11th ranked South Carolina.

The color blue isn’t in Charlotte’s color scheme, and it won’t be any time soon. The blue cleats may be out of the question, but will hope to bring the blue cleat energy to the ballpark moving forward.

You can catch Charlotte vs South Carolina at 6:00pm ET on ESPN+ Tuesday night or make the trek downtown to take in the action at Truist Field. Robert Woodard’s bunch hosts Dallas Baptist this weekend at The Hayes. This is the Huskies are first season as Conference USA member. Prior to heading to CLT, they’ll travel to Norman, OK for a Tuesday evening tilt with the Sooners. The Huskies area a solid program and a great add to an already tough league, having made it to either a Regional or Super Regional 11 times since 2008.