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Watch out for: Charlotte The reason Charlotte (36-11, 15-6) is tied for first in the Atlantic-10 Conference is its pitching staff, which has the best team ERA (2.19) in the nation. The 49ers shut out Richmond twice in a row last weekend. That gives Charlotte 10 shutouts for the season, which ranks third in the nation. The 49ers' starters are junior Andrew Smith (8-3, 1.75 ERA), freshman Tyler Barnette (7-1, 1.88), junior Joe Yermal (4-1, 1.51) and sophomore Corey Roberts (7-2, 2.42). Offensively, the 49ers don't have a ton of pop, but they can run. Cory Tilton has 29 steals in 32 tries, Justin Wilson has 20 in 25 attempts, and Shane Basen has 15 out of 18. The recipe of pitching and speed has the 49ers on the cusp of a national ranking and could make them a tough out in the NCAA Tournament. -- Walter Villa
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