April 14, 2006
NORRISTOWN, PA - Charlotte (23-11-1, 8-2 A-10) took advantage of a three-run fourth inning, after a linedrive smashed off the foot of Saint Joseph's (12-24, 4-6 A-10) starter Bob Unkel, and the 49ers held off the Hawks in Atlantic 10 baseball at Latshaw-McCarthy Field, 5-2. Sophomore Mike Blahusch had a pair of extra-base hits and junior Joel Grimshaw tossed five innings of scoreless relief for SJU.
Single runs in the first and third innings spotted Charlotte the early lead. UNCC manufactured the first run, as Aaron Bray led off the game with a single moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI single. They then tacked on the second on a solo home run from Spencer Steedley, his tenth of the year, in the third.
In the fourth, the 49ers Chris Taylor led off the inning with a double and a sacrifice bunt turned into a single when Chris Lane beat Unkel to the first base bag, moving the runner to third. A flustered Unkel then threw a wild pitch allowing Tylor to score and Lane to advance. A passed ball then put Lane on Third. Things turned worse for Unkel when Adam Floyd lined a single off Unkel's foot to plate the second run. After a receiving medical attention, Unkel remained in the game. Charlotte immediately tested him pushing a bunt single toward first base and Unkel was unable to cover the bag. The Hawk right-hander bore down, getting a fly out and inducing fielder's choice. He was set to get out of the frame, but an error alloed UNCC to plate an additional run for a 5-0 lead.
The Crimson and Gray began to mount a mini-comeback scoring single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to cut into the lead. In the fourth, Mike Gentile doubled with one out and scored on an RBI single by Jereme Scott. Blahusch added a run in the fifth after leading off the inning with a double.
With SJU back in striking distance the game remained tight the rest of the way. Grimshaw, turning in perhaps his best outing as a collegian, replaced Unkel (2-4) to begin the fifth inning and twirled five innings of scoreless two-hit baseball. He was however matched by Charlotte starter Derek McDaid (7-2), who went the distance scattering five hits for the completegame win.
The two teams continue their series on Saturday afternoon with the first pitch slated for 1:00 PM.