Camels Begin Big South Tourney with Charleston Southern

Brent Graham (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Brent Graham (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Top-seeded Campbell begins 2013 Big South Championships play Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., taking on No. 8 Charleston Southern at the Liberty Baseball Stadium in Lynchburg, Va.

The Camels and Buccaneers will be the third game of the day following No. 2 Coastal Carolina against No. 7 Longwood at 9:30 a.m. and No. 3 High Point vs. No. 6 Gardner-Webb.

Campbell captured the 2013 Big South Baseball Regular Season Title with its North Division Championship earning the No. 1 seed in the Big South Baseball Championship. Campbell finished the season with a 19-5 Big South record.

The divisional crown is Campbell's first since 1987, and third overall. The Camels, who finished the regular season with a 46-9 overall record, posting school records in total, conference and home wins, were the No. 1 seed in the 1986 Big South Tournament.

Michael Felton leads the Camels, hitting .368 with 49 RBI and 48 runs scored, while Brent Graham posts a .392 average, 55 runs and 36 RBI. Ben McQuown posts a .332 average with 62 runs scored to go along with 49 stolen bases.

David Olson also bats .361 with 44 runs and 37 knocked in, while Elijah Trail hits .270 with seven homers and 50 RBI.

On the mound, Ryan Mattes owns a 7-3 record with a 2.14 ERA and Heath Bowers is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA, posting a team-best 76 strikeouts. Ryan Thompson also owns an 8-0 record with nine saves and a 0.82 ERA.

The eighth-seeded Buccaneers head into the Big South Championships at 22-32 overall, going 11-13 in conference play. CSU took game one of their final weekend series over Coastal Carolina 7-3, but fell 6-2 and 5-4 to close the set and the regular season.

Bobby Ison paces the Bucs with a .367 average, 39 runs scored and 27 RBI. Zack Hagaman adds a .325 average and 28 RBI with a team-high six home runs. Chase Shelton has knocked in a team-best 31, hitting .321.

Ryan Gunther leads CSU hurlers with a 7-4 record to go with a 4.14 ERA. Tory Schroff, meanwhile, owns a team-best 3.30 ERA with a 6-4 record, while Austin Weekly is 1-2 with a 3.31 ERA.

The 2013 Big South Baseball Championship features the top eight teams in the league regardless of division and will be played on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The tournament begins on Tuesday, May 21 and ends with the championship game on May 25.  

The championship will air on the Big South Network, with the winner take all championship game airing exclusively on ESPN3. The Big South's Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship.