CLINTON, S.C. – Campbell swept a baseball doubleheader to complete a three-game Big South Conference sweep over the Presbyterian Blue Hose on Saturday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex. The Camels earned two come-from-behind wins, taking the first game 7-6 before winning 4-3 in the series finale.
Campbell improved to 20-16 on the season and 12-3 in Big South play to secure sole possession of first place in the conference standings. Presbyterian dropped to 12-26 on the year and 6-9 in the Big South.
Campbell 7, Presbyterian 6
Senior infielder Christian Jones belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the seventh that put the Camels up for good.
Junior righty Michael Horrell (5-1) earned the win for CU, tossing seven innings with six earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts. The Thomasville native retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.
Tyson Messer (Harnett Central) was credited with his sixth save of the season, holding the Blue Hose off the board over the final one and two-thirds innings of play. His six saves on the year rank second in the Big South.
Presbyterian reliever Russ Branch (0-1) took the loss, surrendering three earned runs in one inning.
Jones led the Camels offensively with three RBIs, followed by Matthew Barefoot, who drove in two on a solo homer and an RBI-single. Tyler Anshaw also knocked one in on a squeeze bunt to round out Campbell’s six RBIs.
Barefoot got Campbell on the board with a solo bomb to left field in the top of the first, becoming the first Camel to hit a leadoff home run since 2012 (Jimmy Brenneman vs. Holy Cross, March 5, 2012).
Leading 1-0, designated hitter Ty Babin roped a triple down the right field line for his second three-bagger of the year. Jones scored Babin on an RBI-double down the left field line. Zach Minnick completed the team cycle with an infield single to second base. Anshaw squeezed Jones home to complete a three-run top of the first for the Camels.
PC took a 5-3 lead after putting up three runs in the third and two in the fourth. Campbell cut the lead to one in the top of the fifth as Barefoot drove Bryce Myers home on a single to left field.
Down 5-4, Jones stepped to the plate with Luis Gimenez on second after reaching base when he was hit by a pitch and advancing on a groundout. The Jacksonville, Fla., native cranked the 1-1 offering from Branch over the left field wall for his 11th homer, as well as his 39th and 40th RBIs of the season.
The Camels and Blue Hose traded runs in the eighth. Clinging to a one-run lead, Messer held PC scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win and clinch the series.
Campbell 4, Presbyterian 3
Campbell erased a three-run deficit with four runs in the top of the eighth to complete the three-game sweep.
Trailing 3-0, the Camels put up a four-spot on six hits in the eighth. Kyle Mehl started the rally with a sharp liner to third for an infield single. Bryce Myers followed with a single up the middle, then Barefoot moved both runners over on a deep flyout to right.
Gimenez drove Mehl home on a soft chopper to the shortstop, beating the throw to first by a fraction of a second for an infield hit. Babin helped the Camels pull within one with an RBI-knock through the left side, scoring Myers to make it 3-2.
Jones tied it up on the next at-bat, ripping a single down the right field line that brought Gimenez home. The Camels took the lead and scored the final run of the game on a single through the right side from Minnick as Babin slid into home plate.
True freshman Brandon Jenkins had a career outing as Campbell’s starting pitcher tallying a career-high 10 strikeouts. The righty from Glendora, N.J., threw six innings with one earned run for his second quality start.
Senior righty Wes Noble (4-4) was credited with the win, tossing one and one-third scoreless innings of relief. Barefoot picked up the save, his second of the season, as he kept the Blue Hose off the board in the bottom of the ninth.
Campbell plays at Elon on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.