ATHENS, Ga. – Campbell ended its 2018 baseball season in the NCAA Athens regional, dropping back-to-back contests to Georgia and Duke in the double-elimination tournament Saturday at Foley Field.
Campbell finished the year with a 35-26 record. Making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Camels swept Big South Conference regular season and tournament titles for the first time in program history and racked up a program-record 21 wins in league play. Campbell’s eight all-conference selections were the most since 2013, while
the 35 overall wins were the most for CU since 2014.
No. 8 Georgia 18, Campbell 5
Georgia plated seven runs in the fourth to put the game away, defeating Campbell 18-5.
Bulldog reliever Tony Locey (7-2) picked up the win, going four innings with two earned runs on three hits. Campbell senior Wes Noble (7-7) took the
loss, allowing eight earned runs on eight hits over three and one-third innings of work.
Matthew Barefoot paced the Camels offensively with two singles and a homer. Christian Jones added a solo bomb, while Tyler Anshaw laid down a run-scoring sacrifice bunt.
Campbell took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With runners on the corners, Anshaw placed a bunt down the first base line, scoring Barefoot from third. Barefoot
led off with a single to center field on the first pitch of the game.
The Camels went up 2-0 in the top of the second as Barefoot drilled an RBI single through the right side. Kyle Mehl crossed the plate after roping a two-out double down the left field line.
Georgia tied it in the bottom of the second with a two-run jack from sophomore shortstop Cam Shepherd. CU retook the lead in the third, as Jones raked his 19th home run of the year to put the Camels ahead 3-2. The senior from Jacksonville, Fla. lined the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo bomb.
The Bulldogs blew the game open with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, with a grand slam from leadoff man Tucker Bradley and a sacrifice fly from second baseman L.J. Talley. Georgia added three to its lead in the fifth with an RBI double from Michael Curry and a two-run homer by Adam Sasser to go up 12-3.
Barefoot posted his third hit of the game with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth. The outfielder from Midway High SChool launched the first pitch he saw from UGA reliever Tony Locey over the left field wall, good for his eighth home run of the year to cut the lead to 12-5.
Georgia extended its lead with its fourth homer of the game, as Keegan McGovern banged a solo shot to right center in the seventh. The Bulldogs scored five in the eighth to erase any doubt.
Duke 16, Campbell 8
Following a 97-minute lightning delay, the Duke Blue Devils scored 15 unanswered runs over the final three innings to defeat Campbell 16-8 and eliminate the Camels from the regional.
Duke reliever Graeme Stinson (4-1) was credited with the win, tossing two and two-thirds scoreless frames. Former Triton pitcher Logan Bender (5-2) took the loss.
Christian Jones led the Camels with three hits for the game, including a solo shot for his 20th home run of the season. Barefoot also posted a multi-hit performance with two singles.
Campbell starter Allan Winans put up his 10th quality start of the season, throwing six and one-third innings with three earned runs. The Big South Pitcher of the Year collected seven strikeouts to finish his season with 96 whiffs, good for the fourth-highest total in program history.
Campbell took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer from Jeff Hahs. The senior outfielder from O’Fallon, Ill., sent the 1-2 offering from Stallings over the left field wall, plating Barefoot who led the frame off with a single up the middle.
Duke cut the Camel lead in half in the top of the third with an RBI double from junior shortstop Zack Kone. Left fielder Jimmy Herron came home on the play after singling through the middle and stealing second base.
The Camels extended their advantage to 3-1 on a sacrifice fly from Zach Minnick in the bottom of the third. The junior catcher popped up into center field, but a
collision between Herron and center fielder Kennie Taylor allowed Jones to tag up and score from second.
Campbell added four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Jones cranked a solo shot to left field for his 20th home run of the season, the most by a Campbell player since 1985 when Bill Wilkes hit 22. With the bases loaded, Kyle Mehl lined a two-RBI single through the right side before Luis Gimenez came home on a Duke throwing error to put the Camels ahead 7-1.
CU added a run in the sixth, as Barefoot stole third and trotted home on an error from Duke catcher Chris Proctor. With Campbell leading 8-1, the game was placed under a
lightning delay for one hour, 37 minutes.
The Blue Devils pulled within five on back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the seventh from Herron and Proctor. In the eighth, Duke added two runs following a Campbell
fielding error to make it 8-5.
Duke put the game away with an 11-run rally in the top of the ninth, the most runs given up in a single inning by the Camels this season. A total of 16 batters stepped up to the plate for the Blue Devils as Duke went up 16-8 to seal the win.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report.)