No. 30 Camels Sweep Liberty, Clinch Top Big South Tourney Seed

Blake Boyce (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Blake Boyce (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Six Camels picked up two hits each to lead No. 30 Campbell past Liberty 8-6 Sunday at Jim Perry Stadium, sweeping the three game series and clinching the top seed in the Big South Championships.

Campbell moved to 43-9 overall with its sixth win in a row, and finish Big South play 19-5. Liberty dips to 27-24 on the season and 11-10 in league games. The Camels took Friday's opener 2-1 in 13 innings and Saturday's contest 4-2.

The Camels will head into the Big South Championships with the No. 1 seed for the second time in program history, with the only other coming in 1986. Campbell, who claimed the Big South's North Division crown with Saturday's win, earned a divisional championship for the first time since 1987.

The first four batters in the Campbell order, Ben McQuown, Will Albertson, Michael Felton and David Olson, along with Michael DeLucia and Blake Boyce, each notched two hits in the win, with Albertson, Felton and Boyce all scoring twice.

Olson and Elijah Trail also drove in two apiece.

After the Flames scored two in the top of the first, Campbell bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. With two on and two away, Trail's double scored Albertson and Felton. DeLucia's RBI single then plated Trail from second to give the Camels a 3-2 lead.

Boyce tacked on a run in the fourth with his second homer of the season, a shot over the left field wall.

Liberty knotted the game at 4-all in the fifth on Trey Wimmer and Bryan Aanderud RBI before Olson's RBI double grabbed the lead back for the Camels in the home half of the inning.

The Flames took their second lead of the game in the sixth, scratching across two runs, taking the lead on Ryan Cordell's RBI single up the middle, making the score 6-5 in favor of LU.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, four consecutive hits, including three for extra bases, brought two more Campbell runs home, giving the Camels back the lead at 7-6. Boyce and McQuown both tripled in the inning, while Nick Ray and John Reilly doubled and singled, respectively.

After a scoreless seventh, Olson's RBI single scored Albertson, adding an insurance run for the Camels to make it 8-6.

Campbell reliever Ryan Thompson pitched a one-hit ninth to close it out for the Camels. Thompson earned his ninth save, allowing a pair of hits with two punchouts and a walk in two innings.

Coley Thompkins was credited with the win, allowing a hit while striking out two in 2/3 of an inning to go to 1-0 on the year. Logan Self worked a one-hit seventh, striking out and walking one.

Campbell starter Hector Cedano went 2 1/3 allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits with a walk. Matt Marksberry surrendered four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk in three frames.

Liberty's Robert Gray was charged with the loss, falling to 0-2 after allowing a run on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. Flame starter Trey Lambert went 5 1/3 with six runs on nine hits, striking out and walking one. Jared Lyons allowed a run on three hits in 1 1/3, while Kyle McKelvey bridged the gap, allowing a hit over 2/3 of an inning.

Ryan Cordell paced Liberty in the loss, going 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Ashton Perritt went 3-for-5.

The Camels have one more series on their regular season schedule, hosting New Orleans May 16-18 at Jim Perry Stadium. The Big South Championships begin May 21 in Lynchburg, Va.