Shive's first HR lifts Charlotte
49ers improve to 11-1 in one run games this season
TEMPE, Ariz. --- Corbin Shive's two-run home run propelled Charlotte to a 3-2 victory versus Arkansas to open the Tempe regional. The win was the third in the postseason for the 49ers, sending Charlotte (43-14) to the winner's bracket final tomorrow night against either New Mexico and host Arizona State.
Shive picked a great time to hit his first career home run, giving Charlotte a 2-0 lead on a 2-2 pitch in the second inning. Corey Shaylor scored later in the inning after a base hit, a two-base error and an RBI groundout from shortstop Justin Roland to extend the 49ers' lead to 3-0.
Those three runs held up for Charlotte starter Andrew Smith, who gave up his only run of the day in the third after a double, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Niners. In 7.1 innings, Smith kept the Razorbacks off balance, giving up just five hits and a walk, hitting two batters with four strikeouts. He became the ninth pitcher in program history to reach the 10-win mark (10-4). He lowered the A-10 Conference's lowest earned run average to just 1.81 through 109.1 innings. He also has a team-leading 92 strikeouts.
The Razorbacks (38-21) closed the gap in the ninth, with Kyle Robinson's solo home run, his tenth of the season, coming with two outs in the ninth against Corey Roberts. Roberts made his first appearance out of the bullpen this season, and the fourth of his career, striking out three of the six batters he faced to get his first career save.
Charlotte improved to 29-1 when holding the opponent to two or fewer runs and 41-5 when scoring three or more runs this season. Charlotte also moved to 11-1 in one-run games this season and stayed perfect (35-0) when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
Arkansas starter Randall Fant took the loss (3-5), allowing all three runs in two innings of work on four hits and a walk.
Shive and outfielder Justin Wilson each had two of Charlotte's seven hits in the game. Arkansas outfielder Jarrod McKinney had two of the Razorbacks' six hits.
Arkansas faces the loser of the New Mexico-Arizona State game in the first elimination game on Saturday.
The 49ers allowed just one walk in the game and kept their ERA at 2.43, which was third-best in the nation entering postseason play.