College Sports

Charlotte 49ers rally, beat William & Mary to win baseball season opener

Charlotte baseball coach Loren Hibbs wasn’t happy with the way the 49ers started off against William & Mary.

However, Hibbs was much happier with Charlotte’s response and finish, as the 49ers took a 7-3 victory Friday at Hayes Stadium.

Charlotte won its season opener for the first time in three years behind its offense, which overcame a slow start by belting 12 hits against three William & Mary pitchers.

“We’re more athletic, and we’ve got a few more options now,” said Hibbs, who began his 24th year as the 49ers coach. “Plus, we played really good defense, and our pitching was outstanding out of the bullpen.”

Charlotte starter Sean Geoghegan, last year’s team leader in wins (six) and strikeouts (58), got the win. Phillip Perry pitched the final four innings and earned his first career save.

However, it was a rough start – the Tribe got to Geoghegan in the first inning on a two-run single by Jason Waldman. But he settled down, giving up just one more hit and striking out four in five innings.

Things then turned around for Charlotte.

The 49ers pulled ahead in the third inning off Brett Netzer’s two-out, three-run double, and Logan Sherer’s two-run home run in the fourth put Charlotte ahead 5-2.

After William & Mary added a run in the sixth, Derek Fritz drove a single down the third-base line to score two more runs for Charlotte in the sixth.

Quote

“With two strikes, we needed a solid-hit ball. I was just trying to put a good swing on it. With two strikes, that’s always the approach – to just do the most with the least.” – Netzer.

Worth mentioning

Netzer finished with two hits, both doubles, and extended his hitting streak (continued from last season) to seven games. … Sherer and T.J. Nichting had three hits each for the 49ers, and extended their hitting streaks to five games. … Fritz also had two hits for Charlotte. …Tim Hoehn led the Tribe with two hits. … Starter Nick Brown took the loss for William & Mary, giving up seven runs (only four earned) and 10 hits in six innings

What’s next

The 49ers play the second game of their three-game series with William & Mary at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hayes Stadium.

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