|‘This is exciting:’ No. 25 Charlotte 49ers in NCAA baseball tourney|
|First postseason berth in a decade|
|Published Wednesday, June 2, 2021 8:30 am|
|PHOTO | CHARLOTTE ATHLETICS|
|Charlotte 49ers freshman LuJames Groover III, who is second on the team in hitting with a .350 batting average, helped Charlotte to a 39-19 record and an at-large berth to the NCAA baseball tournament. Charlotte plays Maryland Friday at 6 p.m. in the Greenville Regional.|
The Charlotte 49ers are moving on to the NCAA baseball tournament.
Charlotte earned its sixth postseason berth in school history by drawing the second seed to the double-elimination NCAA Greenville Regional, which begins Friday. The No. 25 49ers, who last advanced to the tournament in 2011, are the second seed, the highest in program history, and the program’s second overall at-large bid.
The 49ers play third seed Maryland from the Big 10 Friday at 6 p.m.
The opening game is top seed and host East Carolina of the American Athletic Conference against fourth seed and MEAC champion Norfolk State at 12 p.m.
“This is exciting,” started Head Coach Robert Woodard. “It’s a lot of hard work and effort that has gone into today. This is a great day for Charlotte baseball. Seeing our players react today and see how excited they were to be announced as one of the 64 teams is tremendous.”
Charlotte (39-19) earned the top seed in the Conference USA tournament, but were eliminated by losing their first two games in the league’s double-elimination showcase.
The 49ers have a .298 team batting average led by C-USA player of the year as well as newcomer of the year Austin Knight, a sophomore who is hitting .351. Freshman LuJames Groover III is batting .350.
After missing last year’s postseason because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 49ers were rewarded by doing everything necessary to succeed.
“Teams around the country were crushed last March when the College World Series was canceled,” Woodward. “Since that moment, we took it upon ourselves to come together, worked really hard to communicate to our players, follow protocols and do whatever we could for the best-case scenario. All of those efforts have led to today and it’s exciting.”
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