Friday, May 30, 2008

49ers, Wake Forest in finalized field of Anaheim Classic

The Anaheim Classic and ESPN have finalized the field for the 2008 Anaheim Classic, which will be played Nov. 27, 28 and 30 at the Anaheim (Calif.) Civic Center.

As previously reported, the Charlotte 49ers are participating. Joining them in the 12-game, eight-school tournament are Wake Forest, Baylor, Cal State Fullerson, St Mary's (Calif.), Arizona State, UTEP and Providence.

Tournament pairings and game times will be announced at a later date. The complete tournament will air live on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.

The Big West Conference will again serve as the host for the Anaheim Classic which features four games each day, with the two undefeated teams competing in the championship game on ESPN2 on Nov. 30.

Tickets for the Anaheim Classic will be available to the general public on Monday, Aug. 18, through or Ticketmaster at (714) 704-2000.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chris Taylor named 3rd team All-American

Charlotte 49ers senior catcher Chris Taylor has been named a third-team All-American by Louisville Slugger/TPX, the second consecutive year a Charlotte player has received the honor.

Taylor, who starred at Mount Pleasant High, leads Charlotte and the Atlantic 10 Conference with 19 home runs. He also 18 doubles this season.
Pitcher Adam Mills and outfielder Brad McElroy was named All-Americans last season.

Taylor is in the top 10 in team history for career hits (sixth), runs (ninth), doubles (third), home runs (fifth), runs batted in (third), and games played (ninth). Earlier this year, Taylor set a school record with a home run in five consecutive games.

His 18th home run of the year clinched the regular-season conference title in the bottom of the tenth against Rhode Island in Charlotte's regular season finale.

Taylor had a pair of home runs last year in NCAA Regional play in Columbia, S.C. He became the first player in team history to hit two homers in a game in the postseason.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Golf coach Jamie Green coach of the year

Charlotte 49ers golf coach Jamie Green has been named the NCAA Division I South Region Coach of the Year by Eaton Golf Pride after leading Charlotte to its third consecutive Atlantic 10 championship and fourth straight NCAA Tournament bid.

Last fall, the 49ers were the consensus No.1-ranked team in the country after winning four consecutive stroke-play events.

Green is also a three-time A-10 coach of the year. Green is one of nine candidates for the national coach of the year award, which will be announced following this weekend's NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

McElroy hopes to return to lineup

Could Friday be the day? Brad McElroy sure hopes so.

McElroy, a senior outfielder for the Charlotte 49ers who earned third team All-American honors last season, was chugging along this year on another award-winning pace when he suffered an ankle injury while trying to outrun Fordham's pitcher to first base during the 49ers' 10-0 loss to the Rams on May 2. He hasn't played since.

"I hit a ball between first and second and I was trying to beat out the pitcher to the bag and I lunged at the bag, which you aren't supposed to do. I missed it and my foot just rolled right over, McElroy said. "I thought I broke it but it turned out I sprained it. It's been very frustrating, but we're winning so that's awesome. I've been pulling my hair out every game wanting to get in there and play."

He hopes to return to Charlotte's lineup for its opener in the 2008 NCAA baseball tournament Friday against South Carolina in Raleigh.

"I'm using ice four to five times a day, stretches, doing balance work, trying to get my strength back," he said.

The 49ers have gone 11-1 since he left the lineup, including a three-game sweep to their second consecutive Atlantic 10 tournament championship. Make no mistake, coach Loren Hibbs would like him back.

"I'm patting our guys on the back because there have been a collection of guys who have really stepped in and played fantastic to replace McElroy. Our senior pitchers, (B.J.) Hagen and (Luke) Stahl, have been fantastic the past few weeks," Hibbs said.

"We're better when he is in the lineup - everyone understands that. If he can play, we have a better chance to win. If he can't play, we'll continue to try to find ways to be successful."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

49ers might land in Tar Heels' regional

Could the Charlotte 49ers, fresh off winning their second consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference baseball tournament, get a rematch with national power North Carolina?’s Jeremy Mills thinks it’s possible.

On Sunday, the NCAA announced the 16 host schools for regionals in the 2008 baseball tournament, including three Carolinas schools – N.C. State, North Carolina and Coastal Carolina.

Mills made a prediction of what four schools each regional would feature and for North Carolina’s regional, which will be played in Cary, he predicts the Tar Heels would be the top seed followed by East Carolina, Charlotte and James Madison.

The Tar Heels and 49ers met twice this season. In the first game in Cary, Charlotte lost 5-4 in 12 innings. In the second game in Charlotte, the Tar Heels won 17-0.

If Charlotte is the regional’s third seed, it would face East Carolina in the first round while James Madison would play North Carolina.

The remaining schools and actual regional placements will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Monday. The other regional hosts: Rice, Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana State, Texas A&M, Miami (Fla.), Cal State Fullerton, Nebraska, Long Beach State, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Arizona State.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Niners get soccer commitments

Charlotte 49ers men's soccer Jeremy Gunn has received commitments for 11 new players including three from the North Carolina. Among the signees are South Mecklenburg standout and Southwestern 4AA player of the year Owen Darby, goalkeeper Robert Propst from Concord's Robinson High and Forsyth Country Day's Justin Tucker, who was named the N.C. player of the year.

Four players from Colorado are also joining the team. Gunn was a former coach at NCAA Division II power Fort Lewis College in Colorado. Signing with the 49ers are Isaac Caughran from Castle Rock, Colo., Isaac Cowles from Arvada, Colo., Alexander Deitz from Fort Collins, Colo., and Kellen Frye from Denver, Colo., who is transferring from San Diego State.

Also joining the team are Rutgers transfer Jonathan Frances of Newark, N.J., Julien Brown of Toronto, Charles Rodriquez of Franklin, Tenn., and Matt Weston of Louisville, Ky.

"Last fall we had a tremendous season," Gunn said. "Having said this I really didn't feel we had enough internal competition for playing time throughout the squad -- we were thin in many areas.

"Coupling the added maturity of our current returners with this excellent class of newcomers, we will succeed in creating a very competitive squad in 2008. We want to see these players winning conference championships and competing in the NCAA tournament on a regular basis."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Several 49ers make All-Conference

Charlotte 49ers baseball players filled the Atlantic 10 Conference all-conference and all-rookie teams for the 2008 season. A total of nine players were named first or second-team all-conference.

On the list of award winners provided by the conference, there was one other player listed from Charlotte but not with the 49ers.

Freshman designated hitter Byron McKoy of Temple, who played last season for Independence High in Mint Hill, was named second-team all-conference and also named to the league's all-rookie team. McKoy hit .357 on the season and had six home runs and 30 RBIs.

At Independence, McKoy was a two-time all-Southwestern 4AA selection and summer baseball for the South Charlotte Panthers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What the 49ers know about the '09 baseball season

The Charlotte 49ers have not completed the 2008 baseball season, but they know a few things about next season.

The 49ers (40-14), who open play in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament on Thursday in Camden, N.J., will again play nine three-game series with A-10 teams next season, but five will be on the road and four will be at home.

Once again, Saint Louis will be Charlotte's "travel partner," the only school the 49ers are guaranteed to play every season. With the way the scheduling falls, Charlotte will spend much of next April on the road.

In addition, Charlotte will again play a home-and-home series with perennial power North Carolina - one game at the Tar Heels' redone Boshamer Stadium and a second game at Charlotte's Hayes Stadium.

The Tar Heels have won 13 consecutive games against the 49ers dating back to the 1992 season. The teams' game at Hayes Stadium this season set a 49ers school-record with an overflow crowd of 3,236 fans.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Q&A with Kendria Holmes

Holmes, 20, enrolled in summer school on Monday, her first day as a member of the Charlotte 49ers' women's basketball team. A former Big East all-freshman team member in 2007 and prep standout at Charlotte Victory Christian, Holmes transferred from Providence and will be eligible to play for the 49ers beginning with the 2009-2010 season.

Q: What prompted your decision to leave Providence?
Holmes: I think our coaching staff was headed in the wrong direction and I wanted a change in environment. I averaged about 37 minutes a game, so there was not a question about playing time or anything like that.

Q: What enticed you to go to Providence and what were you looking at when you decided to leave?
Holmes: Well college basketball recruiting is a lot about selling people to get them to come to your program, telling them this, telling them that. The coach that recruited me, she got fired this year and that had a lot to do with why I decided to leave.
Charlotte wasn't even on the radar to be honest. I came home one weekend. My cousin (Tonya Phifer) went to Charlotte and told me to go up and see how it is just for her. I started talking to the coaches and ended up liking it. Out of high school, they didn't recruit me so that's why I didn't really view it as an option.

Q: What did you think after making a visit?
Holmes: It was a pretty good experience. Coach (Karen) Aston and her staff are great people. She told me the truth, she didn't sugarcoat anything. She didn't tell me what I needed to hear. She told me what she needed and what I could do for them. I commend her for that. I lot of college coaches will sugarcoat things and just tell you what they think you want to hear.

Q: Did you feel this decision was important enough that you were willing to sit out a year for the transfer?
Holmes: I think so. I'm going to look at the year as time for me to get better and work on my education, my academics and things like that. When I come back to the court, I'll be ready to rock and roll.

Q: This was coach Aston's first year. What did you think of her?
Holmes: Considering where she came from - she had been at Baylor and at Texas -- I know she has a good feel for the game and she knows what she's doing. A big part of it was she wants to become a running team. To do that, you have to have a point guard who can run the show. When playing pickup during my visit, we ran the fast break a lot when I was out there.

Q: It's been a while since you were back in Charlotte. What was your time like at Victory Christian and how have you changed since you were here?
Holmes: At Victory, as a person, it helped me a lot. I became a better person. Basketball-wise, in high school it's pretty much get the ball and go. We had plays but it's all about score, score, score. In college, it's a much faster game. You have to learn when to go fast, when to slow it down. You have players around you that you have to focus on, especially when you are the point guard.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enander Hedin wins A-10 golf award

Charlotte 49ers senior Jonas Enander Hedin has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference's student-athlete of the year in men's golf in a vote conducted by the conference's sports information directors.

Enander Hedin placed third at the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship with a nine-under par 207 (66-70-71) over the 54-hole event, tying his career low. His first round of 66 also tied a career-low, while his 71.1 stroke average leads the conference this season.

In the classroom, Enander Hedin maintains a 3.75 grade point average as a business management/managerial leadership major. He is a three-time academic all-conference selection.

Also named to the academic all-conference team in golf is Enander Hedin's 49ers teammate, Stefan Wiedergruen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A-10 above average in APR

The Atlantic 10 Conference ranked among the best NCAA Division I conferences when the NCAA released its Academic Progress Rates (APR) earlier this week. In 20 of the 21 sports offered by the league, the APR was at or above the national average.

The A-10 ranked third in men's swimming and diving; fourth in men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, men's tennis and men's cross country; fourth in women's swimming and diving; and fifth in baseball.

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR based on the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. An APR of 925 projects to an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of approximately 60 percent.

APR scores for each Division I school, along with penalties and teams receiving public recognition, are available at

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tilton named A-10 co-rookie of the week

Charlotte freshman Cory Tilton was named the Atlantic 10 co-rookie of the week in baseball on Monday after a strong weekend performance in a three-game series with Fordham.
Tilton filled in as center fielder after starter Brad McElroy suffered a twisted ankle. Tilton hit leadoff for the first time this season and went 3-for-4 at Fordham on Saturday, scoring three runs in Charlotte's 7-1 win.
On Sunday, he drove in three runs with a two-RBI triple, and scored a run in the 10-2 Charlotte victory. He was 5-for-9 in the Fordham series and had an RBI in Charlotte's win last week over Winthrop.

49ers golfers get No. 2 seed in NCAAs

The Charlotte 49ers, who won their third consecutive Atlantic 10 golf tournament championship over the weekend, received the No. 2 seed in the East Region of the 2008 NCAA Championships.
A total of 27 teams were selected to the regional. Georgia received the No. 1 seed. The regional will be played May 15-17 at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The top 10 teams in the regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 28-31 on the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.

Teams (seeded in the following order): 1. Georgia; 2. Charlotte3; 3. South Carolina; 4. Duke; 5. Chattanooga; 6. Auburn; 7. East Tennessee State; 8. Michigan State; 9. Mississippi; 10. UAB; 11. Virginia Tech; 12. N.C. State; 13. Mississippi State; 14. Georgia State; 15. North Florida; 16. UC Irvine; 17. Augusta State; 18. SMU; 19. Middle Tennessee; 20. Coastal Carolina; 21. Memphis; 22. Virginia; 23. Western Carolina; 24. Colorado State; 25. New Mexico State; 26. Western Illinois; 27. Jackson State.

Enander Hedin to play in Palmer Cup

Charlotte 49ers senior Jonas Enander Hedin has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2008 Palmer Cup, a prestigious amateur golf tournament held in Ryder Cup style that pits the top collegiate players in the United States against the best from Europe.

Enander Hedin, a native of Sweden, will be playing for the European squad. The event will be played June 26-27 on the 6,903-yard, par-71 Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links in Glasgow, Scotland.

"I’ve worked hard here and our team has been very successful, but it’s always nice to be recognized as an individual, as well," said Enander Hedin, whose 71.1 stroke average is ranked fifth nationally by Golfstat.

"To be finishing up college and to go out on a note like the Palmer Cup is an honor. You see the Ryder Cup on TV and see how excited those players are to be playing and it feels good to think you are doing the same thing, only on an amateur level."

Enander Hedin, a finalist on the watch list of both the Nicklaus and Hogan national awards, helped the 2007 Swedish National team win the Nordic Team Championships and has been a member of the Swedish junior national team.

After helping Charlotte win the Atlantic 10 Championships this past weekend with a third-place, 9-under-par 207, Enander Hedin and the 49ers will head to the May 15-17 NCAA regionals.

"Every recognition, award, nomination and honor that Jonas has earned in amateur or collegiate golf is truly well-deserved," said 49ers coach Jamie Green. "He’s worked so diligently and intelligently to improve in any way possible.

"Being named to the Palmer Cup team is the most elite of selections in our sport at the college level. He’s been a great leader by example for our program for years and I have no doubt he’ll do the same for the European side at that championship."