Baseball opens 2017 season Friday vs. Northern Kentucky

Michael Horrell
Michael Horrell

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell opens the 2017 baseball season Friday, February 17, hosting Northern Kentucky at Jim Perry Stadium. Friday's opener is slated for a 4 p.m. first pitch.

The Camels and Norse will square off in a three game series, with Saturday's game featuring a 3 p.m. start, and Sunday's finale beginning at 1 p.m.

For tickets, purchase online at GoCamels.com, or call the Campbell Athletics Ticket Office at (910) 893-1459.

Listen to all three games of the series and follow live stats at GoCamels.com.

Friday's opener will feature a Campbell hat giveaway, while supplies last. Additionally, as a season-long promotion for Sunday home baseball games, receive $1 off a ticket by showing your church bulletin or church notes at the ticket window.

The Camels finished 26-27 overall and 13-11 in Big South play, just one game out of second place, in 2016. Campbell returns five starting position players as well as one starting weekend arm.

Since 2012, the Camels own three 40 win seasons, 189 total wins, eight All-America selections, five Academic All-Americans, 10 professional contracts, two Major League Baseball players and 28 all-conference picks.

D1Baseball has picked Campbell as the preseason favorite to win the Big South in 2017, also tabbing Cole Hallum as the preseason player of the year. Perfect Game also picked the Camels to win the Big South in 2017. CU was picked second in the Big South's preseason coaches' poll, just shy of High Point.

Hallum was the 2015 Big South Player of the Year, a Third Team Louisville Slugger All-American in addition to First Team All-Big South at the utility position, hitting .327 with 12 home runs, eight doubles and 48 RBI, scoring 31 runs. As the Camels' closer on the mound, he added a 1-1 record with a 1.04 ERA and nine saves.

Hallum was named Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper prior to an injury plagued 2016. Hallum played just six games for the Camels before being sidelined.

CU also returns Erik Dowse, who worked as the team's closer in 2016, fashioning a 1.93 ERA with six saves in 46 2/3 innings. Sophomore right-hander Michael Horrell anchors the Campbell weekend rotation, going 5-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 73 2/3 innings as a rookie.

Drew Butler also batted .301 in 2016, while Jimmy Monaghan slugged six homers, highlighting Campbell's returners.

NKU is coming off a 20-34 overall mark in 2016, including a 9-21 mark in the Horizon League. Will Haueter is the Norse's top returning bat, hitting .329 with a Horizon League-best 18 doubles as a redshirt freshman last season. Left-hander Trey Ganns posted a team-best 4.21 ERA a year ago.

The Camels and Norse also opened the 2015 season in Buies Creek, with Campbell taking the series 2-1.

Next up for the Camels is a midweek clash with No. 10 East Carolina, Wednesday, February 22 in Buies Creek (4 p.m.). CU, who hosts 15 of its first 17 outings at home, hosts Quinnipiac February 24-26.