BUIES CREEK — Campbell split a Big South Conference baseball doubleheader with Liberty on Sunday afternoon at Jim Perry Stadium as the Camels (16-16, 9-3 Big South) took game one 5-4 before falling 8-3 in the series finale.
The Flames won the opening game of the series, 9-1, on Friday.
In the first game Sunday, Campbell outfielder Joe Zirolli drove in three runs and smacked his first homer of the season to lead the Camels. The junior from Kennett Square, Pa. crushed a two-run shot and notched a sacrifice fly.
Junior right-hander Michael Horrell (4-1) earned the win, tossing seven innings with one earned run for his third quality start of the year. A native of Thomasville, Horrell tallied six strikeouts and allowed just four hits.
Logan Bender (Triton) picked up his first career save, tossing the final two scoreless frames with four strikeouts.
Liberty’s Brady Stamper (2-2) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on two hits and three walks.
Tyler Anshaw had two singles, while Christian Jones scored twice for Campbell.
The Camels got on the board first as Zirolli launched a ball to left center for his first dinger as a Camel in the bottom of the second. The two-run shot scored Jones for a 2-0 lead.
Campbell widened its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Jeff Hahs drew a bases-loaded walk, then Matthew Barefoot (Midway) scored on a wild pitch. Zirolli capped off the CU sixth with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Jones.
Liberty broke up Horrell’s shutout effort with a solo home run by Logan Mathieu in the top of the seventh. The Flames proceeded to score three more in the top of the eighth on a single by Dylan Allen and a two-run knock from Mathieu.
Bender closed the game striking out four of his last six batters faced.
In the second game Sunday, Campbell pitchers walked a season-high 15 batters.
Right-hander Noah Skirrow (2-2) was credited with the win, throwing five and one-third frames with three runs allowed. The Liberty rookie struck out five batters and gave up just two hits. Righty Jackson Bertsch claimed his first save of the year as he kept the Camels off the board over the final three and two-thirds innings.
Brandon Jenkins (1-1) was the losing pitcher, allowing five runs (two earned) with a season-high eight walks.
Freshman Ty Babin led the Camels offensively with a double and an RBI single after entering the game as a pinch hitter and making his college debut at first base. Barefoot, Hahs and Bryce Myers collectively finished a home run shy of the cycle to account for the rest of Campbell’s hits.
Liberty took a 5-0 lead with three runs in the third and two in the fourth. The Camels responded with two scores in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Zirolli and an RBI single from Babin.
With Barefoot and Luis Gimenez on first and second in the bottom of the sixth, the Camels pulled off the double steal before Gimenez was able to score on an errant throw by Liberty catcher Jonathan Embry to make it 5-3.
The Flames plated three runs on no hits in top of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Liberty’s D.J. Artis came home on a wild pitch, then Tre Todd and Trey McDyre scored on a failed pickoff attempt.
The Camels are set to embark on a 10-game road stretch, beginning with a midweek matchup at N.C. Central on Tuesday (April 10). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Durham Athletic Park.