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June 4, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – Chris Taylor belted two homers and Kris Rochelle added a homer and drove in four runs as third-seed Charlotte outslugged second-seed North Carolina State, 12-10, in an elimination game at the NCAA Columbia Regional before 3,789 at Sarge Frye Field on Sunday.

UNCC improved to 49-11 overall and will take on South Carolina in the championship game on Monday at 4:00. The 49ers must beat the Gamecocks twice to advance to the Super Regional round. North Carolina State finishes the season with a 38-23 record.

The 49ers sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the second inning and parlayed six hits, an error and a pair of homers into seven runs. Taylor opened the frame with a solo homer to right for a 1-0 UNCC lead.

Aaron Bray’s two-run double to left center gave UNCC a 4-0 advantage and Rochelle capped the inning with a three-run homer to left, his sixth of the season, giving the 49ers a 7-0 lead. Cory Lane’s run-scoring single in the third stretched UNCC’s lead to 8-0.

The Wolfpack closed the gap with a four-run third inning. Dallas Poulk singled leading off the frame and eventually scored on a throwing error. Ramon Corona, Mike Roskopf and Ryan Pond added RBI doubles cutting the margin to 8-4.

Taylor’s second homer was a two-out, two-run blast to left center in the fourth that extended UNCC’s lead to 10-4.

Pond hit a solo homer to right in the fifth with two outs and, after a throwing error allowed Pat Ferguson to reach, Caleb Mangum clubbed a two-run homer down the left field line that cut the 49ers’ advantage to 10-7. Bray led off the sixth with a single and eventually scored when Rochelle grounded a single into left field for an 11-7 UNCC lead.

The Wolfpack closed to within 12-10 in the bottom of the eighth on Roskopf’s three-run homer to right, his 13th of the season.

Matt Foard (3-2) picked up the win surrendering three runs, one earned, on four hits with two strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings of work out of the bullpen. Bryan Hamilton struck out six over the final four innings in recording his fourth save of the season.

N.C. State starter Jimmy Gillheeney (4-3) suffered the loss allowing five runs, four earned, on four hits over the first 1 1/3 innings of work.

Bray finished with three hits, three runs and a pair of RBI, while teammates Shayne Moody and Lane added two hits each.

Roskopf paced the Wolfpack with two hits and four runs batted in. Poulk and Ramon Corona added three hits each.