BUIES CREEK — UNC Wilmington jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and held on for an 8-3 nonconference baseball victory over Campbell on Tuesday night at Jim Perry Stadium.
Justin Walke (3-0) earned the win, tossing two innings of relief with one earned run on two hits. The junior lefty was one of six UNCW relievers.
Campbell’s Jamil Vanheyningen (0-1) was credited with the loss, giving up four runs on three hits over one and one-third innings pitched. The freshman from West Orange, N.J. had two walks and a strikeout in his first collegiate start.
Senior infielder Christian Jones cranked a two-run homer to lead the Camels offensively. Kyle Mehl knocked a run in with an RBI single.
Campbell (13-12, 6-0 Big South Conference) had a couple of quality relief outings from left-handers Andrew Witczak and Phil Simpson. Witczak, a redshirt-senior from Timonium, Md., struck out four straight batters over one and one-third innings of work. Simpson, a Holly Springs native, gave up just one hit over two scoreless relief innings with two strikeouts.
UNCW (17-7, 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first inning. The Seahawks followed that with a three-spot in the second before scoring two more in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead.
The Camels put up their first run in the bottom of the fourth, as Mehl’s two-out single to center scored Jeff Hahs (1-for-3, 2B). For the season, 75 percent (9-of-12) of Mehl’s RBIs have come with two outs on the board.
UNCW scored its eighth run in the top of the fifth, and the Camels held the Seahawks scoreless over the final four and one-third frames.
Jones’ two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth made it 8-3, a score that would hold for the rest of the contest. The Jacksonville, Fla. native sent the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for his seventh homer of the year.
Campbell will hit the road this weekend for a three-game Big South series at UNC Asheville. The Camels and Bulldogs play games Thursday through Saturday, March 29-31, at Greenwood Field.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)