FAYETTEVILLE — Top-seeded Campbell secured a spot in the 2019 Big South Conference baseball tournament championship game by defeating No. 3 Winthrop, 13-5, in the semifinals Friday afternoon at SEGRA Stadium.
The Camels faced the Eagles again for the title in a game that got underway on Saturday at noon (ESPNU).
Campbell scored five runs in the bottom of the first and five more in the eight for their fifth-straight win.
Campbell’s double-digit scoring streak was extended to five games.
Tyler Anshaw, Koby Collins, Grant Harris and A.J. Hrica hit home runs, setting a new season best for Campbell. Both Collins and Hrica hit two-run dingers while both Anshaw and Harris had solo shots.
Collins went 3-for-4 and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. He was joined in the three-hit column by Spencer Packard, who had a 3-for-5 showing that included a two-run single and a one-run double.
Anshaw, Harris, Hrica and Zach Minnick each collected two hits and scored two runs. Hrica also drove in three runs.
Campbell reliever Logan Heintzman (4-2) earned the win, tossing two and one-third scoreless frames. He held the Eagles to one hit and no walks while striking out two. Julian Blackburn entered in the top of the seventh and pitched the final two and one-third innings on the way to his first career save. The redshirt-junior struck out a career-high four batters while allowing no runs on no walks and one hit.
With one out in the first, Anshaw singled and Luis Gimenez walked to put runners on first and second for Packard, who doubled down the right-field line to score Anshaw. Gimenez advanced to third before trotting home on Collin Wolf’s sacrifice fly to right field.
With Packard still at first, Collins sent a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer, his second in as many days. Harris made it back-to-back dingers two pitches later, cranking his fourth home run of the season.
Winthrop cut Campbell’s lead to two in the top of the third, scoring three runs as Kevin Westlake surrendered two walks, a hit by a pitch and a single. Heintzman entered with the bases loaded and two away. He dealt a groundball but an errant throw by Gimenez at shortstop allowed the third run to score. A flyout to Hrica in center field ended the inning.
Campbell padded its lead in the sixth on Hrica’s two-run shot, his second this season. Anshaw led off the seventh with his solo long ball, good for his fifth in 2019.
The Camel offense exploded for five more runs in the bottom of the eighth, putting the game out of reach.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)