BUIES CREEK — Campbell pitchers tied a season-low with two hits allowed as CU picked up a 5-2 series-clinching victory over the High Point Panthers on Sunday night at Jim Perry Stadium.
Joyce McLamb and son, Mac McLamb, of Carlie C’s IGA stores were honored at Sunday’s game.
Wes Noble (5-5) earned the win, throwing three perfect innings of relief as the Campbell righty retired nine batters in order. The senior from Lebanon, Ohio, had four strikeouts and gave up no walks on 33 pitches.
HPU’s Jonny Vizcaino (4-2) took the loss, allowing one earned run on two hits over one and two-thirds innings of work.
Weather was an issue as the matchup featured a 29-minute rain delay as well as a three-hour lightning delay. The first pitch from Campbell starter Brandon Jenkins crossed the plate at 2:04 p.m., while the final out was recorded at 8:19 p.m. for a total duration of six hours and 15 minutes.
Jenkins tossed two frames of no-hit ball before the lightning delay, collecting three strikeouts during his brief outing.
In addition to Noble, Campbell relievers Andrew Witczak and Logan Bender also posted solid performances. Witczak kept the Panthers off the board with a 1-2-3 frame in the sixth before Bender tossed two scoreless, hitless innings in the seventh and eighth.
Senior infielder Kyle Mehl logged his first double and his eighth multi-hit outing of the season to lead the Camels offensively. Outfielder Matthew Barefoot roped his 12th two-bagger of the year and scored twice.
Campbell (26-19, 17-4 Big South) got on the board first with an RBI-double from Mehl in the bottom of the second. After Tyler Anshaw reached on a single and Joe Zirolli drew a full-count walk, rainfall at Jim Perry Stadium caused a delay that began at 2:43 p.m.
After a 29-minute break, Mehl came out and knocked a double to shallow right field, scoring Anshaw before Zirolli was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Before the third frame could start, lightning in the area put the game on hold for exactly three hours as play resumed at 6:16 p.m.
The Camels added two runs in the sixth, as Christian Jones reached safely on a throwing error by the High Point third baseman that went all the way to the wall on the first base side. The error allowed Barefoot and Luis Gimenez to come home from third and first, respectively.
Campbell extended its lead to 5-0 with two runs on a sacrifice fly and an error in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Gimenez hit a fly ball to deep right field that scored Zirolli. CU plated its final run of the night on a two-out grounder from Jones that was mishandled by the HPU second baseman, allowing Jones to reach base safely as Barefoot came in to score.
The Panthers broke up the combined shutout in the top of the ninth, scoring their first run on an RBI groundout from Daniel Millwee before Hunter Lee came home on a passed ball. The game ended on a groundout to second by Jordan Sergent as Campbell picked up its sixth series win in conference play.
The Camels currently hold a three-game lead in the conference standings over Liberty (26-20, 14-7 Big South), which was swept in a three-game nonconference series against St. John’s this weekend. High Point and Winthrop each own 13-8 marks in league play as both teams dropped two conference games over the last three days.
Up next, the Camels are set to travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a two-game midweek series. Tuesday’s matchup is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch, while Wednesday’s game will begin at 3:05 p.m.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)