RADFORD, Va. – Campbell wrapped up its baseball regular season with a Big South Conference doubleheader sweep over the Radford Highlanders on Saturday afternoon at Carter Memorial Stadium. The Camels took the first game 6-4 before defeating Radford 7-2 in the series finale.
Campbell improved to 31-23 on the season with a 21-6 record in Big South play. The 21 conference wins set a new school record for the most in a single season, topping the program mark set in 2013 when the Camels finished 19-5 in league action.
With two victories on Saturday, Campbell claimed a series win over Radford (24-29, 14-12 Big South) for the first time since 2012. The Camels finished the season sweeping three-of-four doubleheaders in 2018, posting a 7-1 record.
Campbell 6, Radford 4
Campbell used a three-run eighth to earn a come-from-behind victory in game one of the doubleheader at Radford. Outfielders Matthew Barefoot (Midway) and Jeff Hahs paced the Camels with three hits apiece.
Right-handed reliever Jack Yusko (1-0) earned his first collegiate win, tossing two-thirds of an inning with one walk and one strikeout to end the seventh before Campbell took the lead.
Logan Bender (Triton) picked up his second save of the season, as the righty from Dunn held Radford off the board over the final one and two-thirds frames with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.
In addition to Barefoot and Hahs, second baseman Christian Jones logged his 17th multi-hit outing of the season. Kyle Mehl added an RBI bunt single for the Camels, while Tyler Anshaw roped his third triple of the year.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the third, Barefoot cut the Highlander lead in half with an RBI single to center field. Bryce Myers scored on Barefoot’s hit after leading the inning off with a double off the left field wall.
Both teams scored one run apiece in the fifth and seventh innings. Barefoot tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth with a solo shot over the left field wall, his seventh home run of the season and second of the weekend. Radford responded with a sacrifice fly from Andrew Szamski in the bottom of the fifth to go up, 3-2.
The Camels tied it up yet again in the top of the seventh, as Hahs’ infield single scored Barefoot from third base. The Highlanders retook the lead, 4-3 in the bottom half with an RBI single up the middle.
Campbell scored three runs in the top of the eighth. Mehl laid down an RBI bunt single to the pitcher that scored Anshaw, who led off the eighth with a triple to right center. Two batters later, Hahs posted his second infield hit of the game on a slow roller to second. On the throw attempting to get Hahs out, the Radford first baseman committed an error that allowed shortstop Luis Gimenez and pinch runner D.J. Gatz to score and put the Camels up, 6-3.
Radford threatened a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Freshman catcher Ty Babin, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth, caught the Highlander runner stealing second to end the game.
Campbell 7, Radford 2
Jones posted his second multi-homer game of the season as Campbell defeated Radford 7-2 in the regular season finale. The senior infielder finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Jones’ 17 home runs and 56 RBIs lead all players in the Big South this season. His 17 bombs are the most by a Campbell player since 1986, when John Posey also had 17.
Freshman righty Brandon Jenkins (2-1) earned the win in a scheduled short start, tossing three scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Overall, seven Campbell pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.
Jones started the game off with a bang in the top of the first, crushing his 16th homer of the year with a solo shot to left center. Campbell added a run in the second as left fielder Mason Hayes scored on a passed ball after poking a single through the right side in his first start of the season.
The Camels went up 4-0 in the top of the sixth on a two-out, two-run single from right fielder Joe Zirolli. The ground ball through the left side scored Babin and Jonathan D’Ercole.
Radford broke up the combined shutout in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI triple to left center from leadoff man Luke Wise, scoring left fielder Garrett Matheny.
Jones cranked his second solo homer of the game on the first pitch of the seventh inning to put the Camels up 5-1. Campbell extended its lead to 7-1 in the eighth, as Kyle Mehl hit an RBI double to the left-center gap before Jones brought him home on a single to left.
The Highlanders scored the final run on a double to left center from Spencer Horwitz in the bottom of the eighth. Campbell closer Tyson Messer (Harnett Central) shut Radford down in the bottom of the ninth, forcing a quick 1-2-3 inning with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
The Camels will head to Lynchburg, Va., for the Big South Tournament. Top-seeded Campbell will face the eighth seed on Tuesday (May 22) at 4:30 p.m. at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report.)