Campbell Tops NC Central In Durham 3-1

Campbell pitcher Kevin Westlake pitched 6 innings and allowed no walks with 3 strikeouts in a 3-1 win over NC Central Wednesday night in Durham. File photo by Bennett Scarborough

DURHAM — Kevin Westlake pitched the first six innings and allowed no walks with three strikeouts, while Logan Heintzman struck out four across three hitless innings in relief to lead Campbell to a 3-1 win over North Carolina Central Wednesday night in Durham.

Westlake collected his second victory of the season at the Durham Athletic Park, just 0.8 miles from where he earned his first victory at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park over the Duke Blue Devils two weeks ago.

Heintzman collected his first career save in the win. In his last 8.2 innings of relief, the redshirt-sophomore has struck out 11 batters while allowing just four walks.

Luis Gimenez was the lone Camel to piece together multiple hits, going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles, including a two-out base hit and a bunt single.

AJ Hrica had CU’s only extra-base hit on a double that came in the ninth inning. He was also hit by a pitch in the third inning, moving his season total to seven, which is tied for the team lead. As a team, the Camels rank sixth in all of NCAA Division I baseball with 55 hit by pitches.

Tyler Anshaw, Matthew Christian and Cameron Witt each had a base hit against the Eagles.

In the top of the first, Gimenez ripped a two-out single into right field for CU’s first hit of the ballgame. The Venezuela native stole second and then swiped third for his 11th and 12th stolen bases of the season. Spencer Packard drew a walk, putting Camels on the corners for Wolf, but a strikeout ended CU’s top half of the first.

Westlake sat the Eagles down in order in the bottom half, but in the second inning, their first two batters singled, eventually pushing a run across on a double play. With runners on the corners and no outs, Gimenez, the Campbell shortstop, fielded a groundball to his left, tagged second and then delivered a perfect throw to first for a double play, all while the runner on third trotted home.

Down 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Campbell’s first two hitters – Anshaw and Gimenez – singled to get the inning started before the next two batters – Packard and Wolf – drew consecutive walks. Wolf’s base on balls was with the bases loaded, which pushed across Campbell’s first run, tying the score at 1-1.

The Camels took the lead 2-1 one batter later on Zach Minnick’s sacrifice fly into left that brought Gimenez home from third.

Westlake posted 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and fifth before allowing the first extra-base hit of the night on a two-out double in the bottom of the sixth. The runner advanced to third on a wild pitch, but a lineout to Christian at first base ended the inning keeping the score at 2-1 in favor of the Camels.

A leadoff infield single for the Eagles ended Westlake’s night in the bottom of the seventh as coach Chris Marxcalled in Heintzman from the pen. Heintzman allowed a walk to the first batter he faced but got two swinging strikeouts and a flyout to end the seventh unscathed.

Heintzman came back out to pitch the eighth and allowed a leadoff walk before a flyout, and back-to-back looking strikeouts sent the Camels to the final frame with their 2-1 lead still intact.

The Camels added an insurance run in the ninth as Christian got the inning started with a one-out single into left. Hrica doubled down the right-field line, bringing Matthew Barefoot to plate with two Camels in scoring position.

With one out on the board, NCCU elected to intentional walk Barefoot. Anshaw went down on strikes but with Gimenez at the plate, a wild pitch pushed Christian across to give Heintzman a two-run lead to work with in the bottom of the ninth.

Heintzman secured his first save as a Fighting Camel by making quick work of the Eagles, dealing three flyouts for the final three outs of the ballgame.

Up next, Campbell will travel to Cleveland County for a three-game set with the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs. The series will be played at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby from Friday through Sunday, April 5-7.