LYNCHBURG, VA. – Michael Felton drove in three and Ryan Thompson earned his 10th save to guide top-seeded Campbell past No. 7 Longwood 8-6 Friday, and send the Camels to the 2013 Big South Championship game.
Campbell improves to 49-9 on the year with its 12th straight win, while Longwood finishes its season 26-28. The Camels will face either No. 2 Coastal Carolina or No. 5 Liberty Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN3.
Saturday will be Campbell's third Big South Championship game appearance (1985, '88, '90). The Camels' last conference title game appearance came in 2000 as a member of the Atlantic Sun. CU owns two Big South Conference championships, winning the tournament in 1988 and 1990.
Thompson, a junior from Turner, Ore., allowed two hits in two innings for his 10th save, tying the single season school record. The mark tied Ryan Mattes' 2012 total.
Matt Marksberry earned the win, allowed four runs, three earned, on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks in 5 1/3 to go to 8-2 on the year. David Olson allowed two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 1 2/3.
The Camels jumped on the board with four runs on five hits in the second, loading the bases with one out before John Reilly's two-run double. Nick Ray and Reilly then came around on a Ben McQuown sacrifice fly and a Brent Graham bunt RBI single to third as the Camels sent eight batters to the plate in the frame.
The Lancers posted two in the third, with both runs scoring on a Matt Dickason fielder's choice. LU added a run in the fifth on a Conner Hall double, making it 4-3 Camels.
After Ben McQuown reached on a leadoff walk in the fifth and pushed to second on Brent Graham's sacrifice bunt, the CU centerfielder stole third, scoring on Michael Felton's single up the middle.
Longwood scratched a run across in the sixth with Alex Owens scoring on a wild pitch.
With two on and two out in the seventh, Felton came through again for the Camels, singling to center to bring both runners around and make it 7-4 Campbell. The senior then scored as David Olson was caught in a run down to end the inning.
The Lancers threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with none out. After Campbell brought in Thompson to pitch, LU brought in two runs on a Brandon Delk RBI single and a Travis Biddix sacrifice fly, making it 8-6 Camels before a strikeout and a groundout ended the inning.
Thompson allowed a single in the ninth, but induced two groundouts and a fly out to end the game.
Felton ended the day 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, while McQuown and Reilly both scored twice in the win. Reilly added two RBI, with McQuown added one knocked in.
Conner Hall paced Longwood with a 2-for-2 day, scoring twice, while Dickason drove in two on a hit.
Tyler Wislocki was charged with the loss, falling to 1-1 after allowing four runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks in two innings. Joe Manion surrendered two runs on a hit in 4 1/3, while Travis Burnette gave up a pair of runs on five hits.