Camels Enter Baseball America Top-25, Begin 5-Game Home Stretch with Aggies, Tigers

Nick Ray (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Nick Ray (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell entered the Baseball America national rankings at No. 25, and begin a five game homestand with North Carolina A&T and Savannah State in the midweek. The Camels will host the Aggies on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and the Tigers Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Jim Perry Stadium.

Campbell is 28-5 overall on the year and 9-3 in Big South play after its third 5-0 week of the season that included a series sweep on the road at Presbyterian to go along with a pair of midweek wins.

This is the first time in program history Campbell has been ranked in Baseball America's Top-25 Poll. The Camels, however, have been ranked as high as No. 27 in the Collegiate Baseball Top-30 Poll this season.

The Camels reset the school record for wins in consecutive seasons last week, moving to 69. Campbell posted a school single season record 41 victories in 2012. The mark breaks the previous record of 64, set by the 2000 and 2001 squads.

After a 10-2 at North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, Campbell picked up its first shutout of the season with an 8-0 win over visiting Old Dominion on Wednesday night. The Camels picked up another first on Friday at Presbyterian, their first extra inning win of the year, 7-1 in 11 innings.

Saturday, CU pounded 19 hits, its second-most this season, in a 14-3 win at PC. On Sunday, tied at 1-all in the top of the ninth, Elijah Trail's two-run homer lifted the Camels to a sweep over the Blue Hose to complete the perfect week.

Senior outfielder Ben McQuown also tied the school single season stolen bases mark with his 35th of the season Sunday, knotting Brandon Scott's 2008 record.

Heath Bowers was the starter in two of Campbell's five wins this week, running his consecutive innings streak without an earned run to 24. The sophomore righthander pitched 13 innings with one run on eight hits, eight strikeouts and three walks, adding a 0.69 ERA for the week

Over his last four starts, Bowers is 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA, allowing one earned run in 25 2/3 innings. The righty owns 20 strikeouts with only four walks over that time, surrendering just one extra base hit. Campbell has won all seven games that Bowers has started this season. The sophomore is now 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA, a team-high 40 strikeouts, with just 10 earned runs in 47 2/3 innings.

David Olson helped club Campbell to its perfect week with two home runs, three multi-hit games, five RBI, seven runs and a win on the mound to cap it off. Olson hit .526 on the week, hitting safely in 10-of-19 chances. The senior has a hit in 12 of his last 14 games.

Olson posted two hits, both doubles, while scoring twice in Campbell's 8-0 win against visiting Old Dominion on Wednesday. He then clubbed his first home run of the season on Friday night at Presbyterian, a game the Camels would win 7-1 in 11 innings. Olson blasted his second homer of the series and the season one day later, a two-run shot, in Campbell's 14-3 series clinching win. He went 4-for-5 in the game with three RBI and four runs scored. Olson also went 3-for-5 on Sunday in the Camels' 3-1 win.

Olson pitched the eighth inning on Sunday, earning the win in relief, moving his record to 2-0 on the year. He allowed a hit while striking out one.

A&T heads into Tuesday's matchup at 11-21 overall after taking a series from North Carolina Central over the weekend. Kelvin Freeman leads the Aggies with a .354 average, seven home runs, 35 RBI and 23 runs scored, while Luke Tendler adds a .327 average to go along with four homers and 24 RBI.

Brent Moore paces the Aggies on the mound with a 4-4 record and a 3.68 ERA through 51 1/3 innings. Shane Carter has made a team-high 12 appearances, carrying a 4.68 ERA and no record.

Savannah State is 18-14 on the season after dropping a series two games to one over the weekend at UAB. The Tigers are led by Todd Hagen's .325 average, 17 runs and 14 RBI. Mendez Elder adds a .320 average with 29 RBI and one home run, while Joseph McCrary posts a team-high 21 RBI to go along with a .314 clip.

Kyle McGowin is 8-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings pitched.

Campbell will host new Big South rival Longwood over the weekend, with Friday's 5 p.m. game to be broadcast on ESPN 3. The series will conclude Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.