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June 1, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – Adam Mills pitched seven strong innings and Spencer Steedley belted a two-run homer as third-seed Charlotte downed second-seed North Carolina State, 6-3, in the opening game of the NCAA Columbia Baseball Regional before 3,858 at Sarge Frye Field on Friday.

Charlotte, which beat the Wolfpack for the first time since 1991, improved to 48-10 overall and advanced to play the winner’s bracket contest against either South Carolina or Wofford at 7:00 on Saturday. North Carolina State, which fell to 37-22, plays in the loser’s bracket contest at 2:00 on Saturday.

The 49ers grabbed a 3-0 first inning advantage. Shayne Moody and Kris Rochelle singled with one out and scored when Chris Taylor ripped a two-out double to left for a 2-0 Charlotte advantage. Taylor later scored on a throwing error to give the 49ers a 3-0 lead.

Charlotte added three runs in the top of the sixth. Taylor walked with one out and Steedley followed with a two-run homer to right, his third of the season, for a 5-0 Charlotte advantage. Alex Burt followed with a single and eventually scored when Aaron Bray grounded a two-out single to right for a 6-0 Charlotte lead.

N.C. State cut the margin to 6-1 in the bottom of the inning. Marcus Jones walked with one out, moved to second on a single to center by Ramon Corona, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a two-out wild pitch.

Pat Ferguson led off the Wolfpack seventh with a single to left and eventually scored on a grounder by Joe Florio to cut Charlotte’s lead to 6-2. Jones scored on a run-producing single by Ryan Pond in the eighth for the final margin.

Mills (14-2) picked up the win allowing two unearned runs on just six hits with five strikeouts. Mills, who leads the nation with a 0.96 ERA, didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until a one out walk and single in the sixth inning. Matt Foard blanked the Wolfpack over the final 1 2/3 innings for his third save of the season.

Eric Surkamp (4-5) suffered the loss surrendering six runs, five earned, on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out six.

Rochelle collected three hits and walked twice to pace the 49ers’ 11-hit attack. Steedley added two hits and Taylor drove in two runs and scored twice.