GREENVILLE, N.C. — For the second time in as many meetings between the Campbell Fighting Camels and the ECU Pirates this season, the home team won in walk-off fashion, as #6 ECU defeated Campbell, 4-3, Tuesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Campbell righty Wyatt Tyson appeared and allowed the first two batters to reach on a single and a walk before getting the first out by way of a strikeout. The next batter was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Brady Lloyd.
Campbell went to junior sidearm slinger Jack Yusko with the bases loaded and one away, but the first pitch Yusko threw was bunted down the first base by Lloyd, allowing the winning run to cross the plate from third.
Both Zach Minnick and Collin Wolf had RBI doubles against the Pirates. Minnick’s double opened the scoring in the top of the second, while Wolf’s two-bagger put Campbell back ahead, 2-1, in the top of the sixth. Minnick finished the night with two RBI, also driving in a run on a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.
Tyler Anshaw, Matthew Barefoot, Koby Collins, Luis Gimenez and Spencer Packard helped round out Campbell’s seven hits, recording one single apiece.
Tyson (1-2) took the loss as he was responsible for the winning run in the final frame. ECU reliever Evan Voliva (5-3) earned the win, getting the Pirates out of a jam in the top of the ninth.
Junior starter Kevin Westlake went the first 5.2 innings and struck out four for Campbell. He allowed three earned runs on four walks and four hits. His start on Tuesday was his fourth start against a ranked opponent this season.
The Camels struck first in the top of the second as Harris reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and then scored on Minnick’s RBI double into left-center field.
Westlake began the bottom of the third as he ended the bottom of the second, with a strikeout, but his next pitch was met by Bryson Worrell, who sent the ball over the left-field wall, tying the game at one apiece. After the solo home run, the Pirates placed runners on the corners, but Westlake worked out of the jam thanks to a sliding catch by right fielder Matthew Christian for the final out.
Gimenez led off the top of the sixth with a single into left field and then advanced to second on a stolen base, his team-leading 22nd of the season. Wolf traded places with Gimenez, delivering an RBI double into right-center field, which forced ECU to bring in lefty Alec Burleson.
Burleson hit the first two batters he faced – Collins and Harris – that loaded the bases for Minnick, who worked a bases-loaded walk, moving Campbell’s lead to two, 3-1.
In the bottom half of the sixth and with one away, Westlake hit Burleson. The two-way player advanced to second on a passed ball and then moved over to third on a groundout. Burleson scored on a two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Chandler Jenkins that tied the game at three apiece.
After getting the final out in the sixth by way of a strikeout, Julian Blackburn tossed two scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, maintaining the 3-3 score into the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, AJ Hrica drew a leadoff walk. With one away, Anshaw kept the inning going with a single over the third baseman’s glove. No one was covering third base, so Hrica scurried over to third from first base, putting Camels on the corners. The next batter, Gimenez popped out for the second out before Packard flew out to left field for the third and final out, stranding two Camels on the corners.
Up next, the Fighting Camels return home to host the Longwood Lancers for a three-game Big South set at Jim Perry Stadium. The series is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, May 16-18, with Senior Day taking place before the series finale.