Camels come back, take series over NKU

Drew Butler (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Drew Butler (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell erased a 5-1 deficit to top Northern Kentucky 8-5 and take its opening series of the 2017 season Sunday at Jim Perry Stadium.

The Camels (2-1) trailed NKU (1-2) 5-1 after the Norse put up three runs in the top of the fifth, but Campbell stormed back with seven unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, back to back doubles from Drew Butler and Jeff Hahs brought a run around. A third consecutive CU hit, a Jimmy Monaghan single to center, gave the Camels two on for Cole Hallum, who launched his first home run of the season, tying the game..

Campbell loaded the bases with none out in the sixth. Butler cleared the bases with a double to left-center, giving the Camels an 8-5 lead.

Tyson Messer (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Camels, pitching 4 1/3 scoreless with two hits, seven strikeouts and a walk. Messer entered in the top of the fifth, retiring 11-of-12 that including six strikeouts.

Charlie Jerger (0-1) took the loss for NKU, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. NKU starter Jordan Menfee allowed five runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 4 1/3 innings.

Hallum and Butler both drove in three for the Camels in the win. Butler was 3-for-3 with two doubles, scoring twice. Monaghan was also 3-for-3, also knocking in a run in the first. Adam Wyse added a 2-for-4 day, scoring a run.

TJ Alas homered and scored twice for the Norse. Jake Richmond and Kyle Colletta collected two hits apiece.

Campbell took Friday night's season opener 12-5 before NKU claimed game two 5-3. With the series win, Campbell has won its opening set nine times over the last 10 seasons.

The Camels will host No. 10 East Carolina on 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.