BUIES CREEK — Wes Noble tossed a complete game shutout on his Senior Day as Campbell defeated Winthrop 5-0 on Sunday afternoon at Jim Perry Stadium.
With the win, the Camels clinched the Big South Conference regular season championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the 2018 Big South Tournament.
Campbell (29-21, 19-5 Big South) claimed its first regular season conference title since 2013. The Camels hold a three-game lead over second-place High Point in the Big South standings with three conference games remaining in the regular season.
CU owns the potential head-to-head tiebreaker over HPU with last week’s series win over the Panthers.
Noble, a fourth-year senior from Lebanon, Ohio, improved his record to 6-5 with his first career complete game shutout. The right-handed pitcher allowed just two hits, collecting eight strikeouts with no walks as he retired his final 20 batters in order.
Winthrop’s Daniel Willcutt (3-6) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on five hits over six and two-thirds innings. The senior righty fanned a season-high 12 batters with one walk.
Christian Jones cranked his Big South-leading 14 home run of the season, while Zach Minnick roped an RBI double for the Camels. Outfielder Matthew Barefoot collected two hits.
After three perfect innings from Willcutt, the Camels got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Barefoot scored the first run on a balk, then Minnick drove an RBI double into the left center gap that plated senior outfielder Jeff Hahs.
Campbell scored one run apiece in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames. Jones ripped a hanging curveball over the left field wall for a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, while Bryce Myers scored Kyle Mehl on an RBI groundout in the seventh.
Joe Zirolli drove in CU’s final run in the eighth on a hit-and-run single to left that scored Jones easily from second. Noble used 12 pitches to retire the side in order in the top of the ninth. After he forced a 3-1 groundout and a flyout to left field, Minnick caught a popout in foul territory to end the game.
Up next, Campbell will travel to Greenville for its final midweek matchup of the regular season at East Carolina. First pitch is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this story)