South Charlotte

49ers draw talent from lcoal schools

UNC Charlotte's baseball team won the Atlantic-10 regular season title for the second straight year and advanced to play Arkansas in the opening Regional round of the NCAA College World Series.

The team lost Sunday to Arkansas.

However, along the way, the 49ers won 42 games, the most since 2008, and their fourth A-10 title in the last five years.

Many of the 49ers have ties to south Charlotte.

Charlotte led the nation in earned run average for much of the year, and was third in the NCAA with a 2.43 ERA.

Andrew Smith, a redshirt junior, is a big reason for the success.

The right-hander was recently named to the third team All-American team and leads Charlotte in wins, strikeouts, ERA and innings pitched.

Smith, who starred at Butler, started 15 games for the 49ers this year. He is 9-4 on the season with a 1.85 ERA, and 88 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched.

Sophomore third baseman Shane Basen played in high school at Marvin Ridge and is among the top five in nearly every offensive statistical category.

Basen started 55 games this year and hit .307. He scored 43 runs, belted a home run, had 35 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases. Basen had a .425 on base percentage, 17 doubles and 44 walks.

Second baseman Corey Shaylor leads the team with five home runs, and like Basen, started 55 games. Shaylor, a senior infielder who starred at Independence High School, hit .310, scored 40 runs and drove in 41 runs.

Shaylor was named the A-10 conference tournament's Most Outstanding Performer.

Junior lefthander Tyler Pilkington had a 5.54 ERA in 15 games. The former Weddington High star struck out 13 batters in 13 innings and finished 1-0 on the mound.

Reliever Ryan Mas, a right-handed freshman from Butler, pitched 11 innings in 11 appearances. Mas was 1-0 on the year, had 10 strikeouts and sported a 1.64 ERA.

Other Charlotte-area players on the 49ers include sophomore righty Sean Pope and redshirt junior outfielder Shane Brown who both starred at North Meck. Sophomore right-hander Corey Roberts went to Olympic.