Campbell Falls To ECU 12-5 In Regional Final

Spencer Packard had 3 of Campbell’s seven hits including a two-run double but the Fighting Camels fell to ECU 12-5 in the NCAA Greenville Regional on Monday night. Photo by Bennett Scarborough

GREENVILLE, N.C. — The third-seeded Campbell Fighting Camels ended their season in the NCAA Greenville Regional, dropping a 12-3 decision to the No. 7-ranked and top-seeded ECU Pirates in the winner-take-all championship game Monday night.

Making their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the Fighting Camels went 2-0 over their first two regional games for the first time in program history before dropping back-to-back games to ECU in the championship games. Campbell finished the year with a 37-21 record, the winningest season under five-year head coach Justin Haire.

Five Fighting Camels were named to the 2019 Greenville Regional All-Tournament Team: first baseman Koby Collins, shortstop Luis Gimenez, outfielder Matthew Barefoot, designated hitter Spencer Packard and starting pitcher Michael Horrell.

ECU scored its 12 runs on 12 hits, while its pitching staff held the Camels to seven hits and three runs. Packard recorded three of Campbell’s seven hits, collecting a two-run double, one-run single and a base hit. Including the first game against ECU, Packard finished the day 6-for-9 with four doubles and five RBI.

Both Grant Harris and AJ Hrica had doubles, while Gimenez and Collins each had a base hit. Gimenez scored two of Campbell’s three runs on the night.

ECU reliever Jake Kuchmaner earned the win, allowing just one hit over 3.1 scoreless innings. Campbell starterPhil Simpson was saddled with the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits across the first 1.1 innings.

Campbell went down in order in the top of the first before ECU scored two on three hits in the bottom half to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.

The Fighting Camels threatened in the top of the second as Packard led off with a ground-rule double to left-center field before Collin Wolf drew a four-pitch walk; however, the next three batters could not move them around as a lineout, strikeout and groundout ended the frame.

ECU scored two more in the second and another one in the bottom of the third to send starter Gavin Williams to the top of the fourth with a 5-0 lead.

Gimenez led off the top of the fourth with an infield single and then moved over to second base on a wild pitch. Packard scored Gimenez with an RBI single into left field, trimming ECU’s lead to four, 5-1.

Packard continued his hot streak in the top of the fifth, doubling home both Hrica and Gimenez, cutting ECU’s lead in half, 6-3.

ECU scored six runs over the seventh and eighth innings to push its lead to nine, 12-3, and seal the Greenville Regional Championship, setting up a match-up with Louisville in the NCAA Super Regionals next weekend.