Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2009 Diamond Niner Player Update

Former 49er baseball stars Aaron Bray and Rob Lyerly have started their road to the show after being selected in the June amateur draft. Each player has made an impact offensively in their first professional summer.

Lyerly, a sixth-round pick of the New York Yankees, hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th as Staten Island (N.Y.) defeated Aberdeen 4-3 on June 30. Click for story

Bray, drafted by the Houston Astros in the 27th round, had a two-hit, two-RBI day for the Greeneville (Tenn.) Astros the night before, June 29, as Greeneville won at Princeton 9-3.

We will have more updates throughout the summer. To check the progress of any of Charlotte's former players in professional baseball, click here...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon Busch Highlight Reel

Its a little slow around the department at this time of the year. So why not show a highlight reel of MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and former 49er Jon Busch? Yea its from last year, but whatever.

This year, Busch is (5-3-6) with the Chicago Fire with 3 shutouts and a 1.36 Goals-Against-Average

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Charlotte Draftees Sign, Get First Pro Assignments

Charlotte's pair of baseball players drafted in the 2009 MLB Draft have both signed professional contracts and have learned their first professional assignments.

Rob Lyerly has decided to forego his final season of college eligibility and signed with the New York Yankees organization. The Yankees, which drafted Lyerly in the 6th round of last week's draft, will assign him to Staten Island of the NY-Penn League. The SI Yankees begin play June 19.

Aaron Bray, who used all four of his years of eligibility at Charlotte, signed a contract with the Houston Astros organization. The Astros drafted Bray in the 27th round. They have indicated that he will begin his pro career in Greeneville, Tennessee with the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League. That squad begins play on June 23.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nagy T4th at Sunnehanna; Curl T60th at Knoxville Tour

Charlotte 49ers rising senior Corey Nagy, a three-time all-America, shot an even-par 70 in the final round of the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur to finish in a tie for 4th-place. Kevin Foley won the event at 13-under par after shooting a two-under 68 in the final round. Nagy finished with a four-round total of four-under par, 276.

In the Nationwide Tour's Knoxville Open, former 49er Jeff Curl (-2, 286) finished in a tie for 60th following a three-over par 75 in the final round. Another former 49er, Matt Mincer, did not make the cut.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aaron Bray Selected in 27th Round by Houston

Charlotte third baseman Aaron Bray was selected in the 27th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros. He was pick 821 in the draft. Bray is Charlotte's all-time hits leader and one of only two 49ers with over 200 hits and 200 runs in the program's history. He is also the Niners all-time leader in postseason at-bats, hits and total bases and is the only Niner to record four hits in an NCAA Regional game.

Lyerly Picked by Yankees in Sixth Round of Amateur Draft

Charlotte junior infielder Rob Lyerly was picked in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the New York Yankees. Lyerly is a two-time First-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection and is Charlotte's highest pick since John Maine went in the sixth round to the Baltimore Orioles in 2002.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Golf News

TMurph qualifies for US Open. Nagy named HM all-America. Mincer qualifies for Knoxville Open of the Nationwide Tour. Enander Hedin gets pro win. It's been a busy couple of days for the 49ers golf program.

Trevor Murphy, a four-year letterwinner who finished up in 2008 after helping the 49ers to 4 straight NCAA tourneys, placed 2nd at his US Open sectional qualifier -- beating out the likes of Brad Faxon -- for a spot in the US Open (June 18-21 at Bethpage Black). Murphy, you might recall, had a memorable run at the 2008 PGA Wachovia Championship, qualifying in Monday's qualifier and nearly making the cut as a college amateur.

2009 A-10 medalist Corey Nagy, who moved through local qualifying to the Ball Ground, Ga. sectional, was not able to advance to the US Open -- but he still gets his name in lights by pulling his 3rd straight all-America honor. He's been named honorable mention all-America for three straight years by the GCAA/PING. And he goes for a fourth next year. Nice work. He and teammate Stefan Wiedergruen were both named to the GCAA/PING all-East Region team, as well.

And Matt Mincer, who was the A-10 medalist who led Charlotte to a NCAA 3rd-place finish in 2007, shot five-under par to qualify for the Knoxville Open of the Nationwide Tour.

Meanwhile, Jonas Enander Hedin, a former Palmer Cup participant, who like Murphy was part of that historic 2008 graduating class, won the Fredrik Jacobson Masters at Kungsbacka Golf Club in Sweden (part of the SAS Masters Tour), despite tough conditions. He shot -4 over 3 rounds with 72,71,69 to win by 2 shots.

More trophies being accumulated by 49ers golfers. What else is new.

With the 2009 Amateur Baseball draft starting tonight (Tuesday, June 9), here is a little taste of Charlotte players in the draft.

Six Charlotte players have been drafted in the first 10 rounds of the draft, according to baseball-reference.com, the latest being Adam Mills (Rnd. 8, Boston) in 2007.

The list (by round)...

Chris Haney, 2nd Round, Kansas City, 1990
Stu Cole, 3rd Round, Kansas City, 1987
John Maine, 6th Round, Baltimore, 2002
Jeff Johnson, 6th Round, NY Yankees, 1988
Adam Mills, 8th Round, Boston, 2007
Deon Danner, 9th Round, Pittsburgh, 1991

You can find a full list of Niners that played minor league or major league pro ball here...


Niner Track Featured on News14 Carolina

The success of the Charlotte 49ers track and field team made it to the small screen last night when the team was featured on News14 Carolina's SportsNight with Mike Solarte. Charlotte's 4x100 meter relay team was featured with interviews from Lamarra Currie, Sunita Brathwaite and Chalonda Silver. Keep an eye out for more from News14 on the track squad through the week. To watch the feature click here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Steedley Named Florida State League All-Star

Former Charlotte 49er Spencer Steedley has made his second-straight All-Star game in his first two full seasons of minor league baseball. Steedley, who plays for the Ft. Myers Miracle of the Florida State League, was announced as an All-Star for the North Division late last week. Steedley was also an All-Star for the West squad in the Midwest League last season. He was 5-3 with Beloit with a 2.05 ERA and eight saves there last season. This year with the Class A-Advanced Miracle, Steedley is 4-0 with one save and a 0.67 ERA in 20 appearances.

Steedley was a 25th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2007 Amateur Baseball Draft. A First-Team All-Atlantic 10 starting pitcher in his senior season, Steedley finished with an 8-2 record and a 3.05 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 112 innings in 2007. He was also the first player in team history to be First-Team All-Conference as a position player and a pitcher, earning first-team honors as an outfielder in the A-10 in 2006.

For his Charlotte career, he was 13-8, with a 5.05 ERA and 127 strikeouts. He also belted 22 career home runs and 47 doubles with a career .290 batting average. So far this season, the left-hander is 2-3 with a 2.34 ERA and seven saves with 47 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. In the summer of 2007, playing for the Elizabethton Twins in short-season rookie ball, he was 2-3, with a 2.92 ERA in 37 innings, adding 51 strikeouts.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

49ers Spease Meets Nicklaus at NCAA Golf Championship

Charlotte 49ers Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business Affairs Darin Spease enjoyed a special treat as Chairman of the NCAA Div. I Men's Golf Golf Committee, which held its National Championship in Toledo, Ohio, May 26-30.

He got to spend some time with The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus -- still the winner of more Major Championships than any other golfer in history.
Nicklaus, a former all-America at Ohio State, was in town as the guest-speaker at an event held by the University of Toledo, which served as tournament host for the Championship.

"It was a dream come true to be able to spend a few moments talking to him," said Spease, who said the two spoke mostly about the new format for the NCAA Division I Championship.

The format uses a cut after 54 holes of stroke play and advances the top eight teams into a match play bracket to crown the champion. In the past, there was a cut after 54 holes of stroke play with 15 teams advancing to a fourth and final stroke-play round.

"I wanted to thank him because he has been so supportive of the change. He was vocal about his support and that certainly helps when you can say 'Jack believes it is a good thing", Spease added. "He was super gracious with his time during the tournament and spent time riding in a cart following the teams and talking with (outgoing Ohio State coach) Jim Brown."

Spease met up with him on the course and took the opportunity to thank him for his support -- and, of course, to get a photo taken with the golfing icon.

The NCAA National Championships are known for the shining moments enjoyed by many, many kids. Spease had his own special memory to bring home from this one.
For more on Spease and his work with the NCAA Golf Committee, click here to read an interview in the NCAA News.

Head Basketball Coach Bobby Lutz on WFNZ

Lutz talks about upcoming NBA Finals matchup, 49er Football FSL sales and his summer basketball academy here in Charlotte.