Buies Creek — The 2020 Campbell University Fighting Camels baseball team will enter the 2020 season as the favorite to win the Big South Conference, according to the league’s 10 head coaches, as announced by the conference office Thursday afternoon.
Campbell received seven first-place votes, collecting 91 of the possible 100 points in the poll to garner the top spot for the second year in a row.
Led by head coach Justin Haire, who enters his sixth season at the helm and 13th overall at Campbell, the Camels are coming off the program’s first-ever back-to-back Big South regular-season and tournament championships and consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Campbell finished its 2019 campaign 37-21 overall, suitable for the most wins under Haire. The Fighting Camels went 2-0 over their first two games at the NCAA Greenville Regional, making the program’s first regional championship game appearance.
High Point was voted second in the preseason poll for the second year in a row, with a total of 85 points. Radford received 79 votes to finish in third place while Winthrop was selected to finish fourth with 74 points. High Point, Radford and Winthrop each received one first-place vote.
The remaining fifth through tenth spots went to Presbyterian (60), Gardner-Webb (50), Charleston Southern (41), USC Upstate (32), UNC Asheville (25) and Longwood (16).
Radford’s J.D. Mundy was named the Big South Preseason Player of the Year while Charleston Southern’s R.J. Petit received the Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year award.
In 2020, the Fighting Camels will play 21 games at Jim Perry Stadium, 27 road contests and four neutral-site games. Additionally, Campbell’s schedule includes 11 games against six teams that played in the 2019 NCAA Tournament: Army, East Carolina, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and UNC Wilmington. Three of those teams – ECU, Duke and North Carolina – advanced to an NCAA Super Regional.
Campbell will open the 2020 season at Sun Belt Conference member South Alabama for a three-game series beginning on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Campbell last faced USA in a two-game road series in 1989. The trip to Mobile, Ala., will be Campbell’s first series in the state of Alabama since 2009 when the Camels played a two-game set at Alabama A&M in Huntsville, Ala.
On Feb. 21-23, the Fighting Camels will host the Campbell Invitational with Purdue, Villanova and Maine traveling to Buies Creek. Campbell will face all three opponents for the first time in program history, while the Purdue-Campbell game on Friday, Feb. 21, will pit Haire and the Camels against former Campbell head coach Greg Goff (2008-14) and former assistant coach Chris Marx (2015-19), who both enter their first seasons in their current roles at Purdue.
Campbell’s Big South slate begins with a trip to Charleston, S.C., to face Charleston Southern on Mar. 13-15. The following weekend, Mar. 20-22, the Camels will host High Point. Campbell will also welcome league foes USC Upstate (Apr. 3-5), Winthrop (Apr. 17-19) and Gardner-Webb (May 8-10) to Buies Creek in 2020.
The Fighting Camels return 20 letter winners from the 2019 championship squad, including Second Team All-Big South performer Collin Wolf. Including Wolf, who was primarily a third baseman in 2019, five starting position players come back from last year’s lineup (designated hitter Spencer Packard, infielder Koby Collins, and outfielders A.J. Hrica and Grant Harris). The 2020 team also features 16 newcomers, with eight freshmen and eight junior college transfers.
2020 Big South Baseball Preseason Poll:
1. Campbell (7) 91
2. High Point (1) 82
3. Radford (1) 79
4. Winthrop (1) 74
5. Presbyterian 60
6. Gardner-Webb 50
7. Charleston Southern 41
8. USC Upstate 32
9. UNC Asheville 25
10. Longwood 16
(first-place votes in parenthesis)
Big South Conference Baseball Preseason Player of the Year
J.D. Mundy, Radford, Sr., INF
Big South Conference Baseball Preseason Pitcher of the Year
R.J. Petit, Charleston Southern, So., RHP
2020 Campbell Baseball Ticket Info
Season tickets, flex plans and Campbell Invitational (Feb. 21-23) ticket plans for the 2020 season are currently on sale. Single-game tickets will go on sale on Monday, Feb. 3.
2020 Season Ticket Packages:
$125 Reserved chairback sections 102-104
$100 Pavilion chairback sections 106-108
$75 Campbell Faculty/Staff
$75 Camel Kids Club