LYNCHBURG, Va. — Kyle Mehl’s grand slam in the bottom of the second put Campbell up for good as the top-seeded Camels defeated No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb 8-3 on Thursday afternoon in the second round of the Big South Conference baseball tournament.
Campbell improved to 33-23 and will face Liberty on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Liberty Baseball Stadium. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Senior right-hander Wes Noble (7-6) earned the win with his fifth quality start of the season, as the Lebanon, Ohio, native tossed six and two-thirds frames with nine hits, two runs, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Gardner-Webb’s Landon Mitchell (4-5) took the loss, giving up four runs on five hits over the first two and two-thirds innings.
Campbell posted six extra-base hits on the day, collecting one homer and a season-high five doubles. Mehl led the charge with his first home run and third double of the season, while Christian Jones roped a couple of a two-baggers for the Camels. Tyler Anshaw and Matthew Barefoot added one double apiece.
Five Camels recorded multi-hit outings as CU racked up 13 hits overall. Anshaw logged his fourth three-hit performance of the season, while Jones, Mehl, Jeff Hahs and Ty Babin recorded two hits each.
Gardner-Webb (30-26) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as second baseman Mickey Dugan crossed the plate on an RBI single to left field from third baseman Eric Jones.
After Zach Minnick reached on an error in the second, Luis Gimenez poked a single through the left side to put two runners on. Bryce Myers was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Mehl drove a 2-2 offering from Mitchell off the top of the left field wall, bouncing into the Campbell bullpen to put the Camels ahead 4-1.
Barefoot extended CU’s lead to four with an RBI double in the fourth. The former Midway star drilled a ball to left center for his 15th two-bagger of the year, scoring Mehl all the way from first to give Campbell a 5-1 edge.
Both teams traded runs in the seventh inning, as Mason Fox scored on a wild pitch for Gardner-Webb before Babin drove in Anshaw with a single through the right side in the bottom half of the inning.
The Bulldogs cut the Campbell lead to 6-3 in the eighth with a double down the left field line from Justin Kunz that plated Chris Clary.
Campbell scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. Mehl crushed a leadoff double off the left center field wall, then scored on a single up up the middle from Hahs. Anshaw knocked in the final run of the game with a single through the right side that drove in pinch runner D.J. Gatz from second.
Redshirt senior lefty Andrew Witczak finished it out for the Camels, picking up a strikeout and forcing a popout before a ground ball fielder’s choice ended the game. Jones made the diving stab and glove flip to Gimenez for the final out at second.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report.)