BUIES CREEK, N.C. — A grand slam by Zach Minnick in the fifth inning lifted Campbell to an 11-4 win over Presbyterian on Sunday afternoon at Jim Perry Stadium, completing the Big South Conference series sweep of the Blue Hose.
With the win, Campbell improved to 17-10 overall and 8-1 in Big South play, moving into sole possession of first place in the conference standings. Additionally, the weekend sweep was CU’s fourth of the season and second in Big South play. Presbyterian dropped to 11-17 and 4-5 in league action with the setback.
Minnick’s grand slam in the fifth was the senior’s second long ball of the season and his first grand slam of his four-year career at Campbell. The Logan, W.Va. native also logged three hits for his fourth multi-hit outing of the season. He drove in five runs, becoming the third Fighting Camel to record five RBI in 2019.
Matthew Barefoot went 3-for-5 with a trio of singles for his third three-hit performance of the year and 11th multi-hit outing overall.
Both Collin Wolf and Grant Harris went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles; Wolf drove in a run and scored two, while Harris drove in two runs.
Tyler Anshaw had a leadoff triple in the fifth, which spark CU’s six-run frame. The senior’s three-bagger was his third of the season and sixth of his two-year career at Campbell. Cameron Witt doubled, while Luis Gimenez and Spencer Packardhad a single apiece, rounding out Campbell’s 14 hits on the day.
Campbell righty Logan Heintzman earned the win, going 3.1 innings in relief, while striking out a career-best five batters. The Campbell pitching staff combined to strike out 12 Blue Hose, while allowing just five walks.
Presbyterian’s starter Reagan Fowler suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs on seven hits across his four plus innings on the mound.
Presbyterian went ahead 2-0 in the first inning with a two-RBI, base-loaded single, but Campbell cut PC’s lead in half in the second.
Wolf got the inning started by drawing a leadoff, nine-pitch walk. The junior stole second base and then advanced to third on an infield single by Minnick, putting Camels on the corners for Harris. After lining the ball just wide of the right-field foul line, one pitch later, Harris singled into right field, scoring Wolf from third.
The Blue Hose responded with a run in the top of the third. Heintzman relieved Campbell starter Ryan Chasse with runners on second and first with no outs, loading the bases by allowing a single before PC went ahead 3-1 with a sacrifice fly into right field. The redshirt-junior settled in and got the final two outs by way of a pair of strikeouts.
In the bottom of the fourth, Witt’s two-out RBI double scored Koby Collins, cutting PC’s lead to one again.
Presbyterian led 4-3 through four and a half innings, but the Camels posted a six-spot in the bottom half of the fifth to pull away.
Fowler allowed the first four Campbell batters to reach in the fifth. Anshaw tripled into right center field to lead off the inning before Gimenez scored him with an RBI single down the right-field line, tying the score at 3-3.
Fowler was pulled from the game after loading the bases with no outs, handing the ball to reliever Clark Dearman, who was set to face Minnick. Campbell’s senior backstop launched a 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence for Campbell’s second grand slam of the season, putting the Camels ahead 7-3.
Harris, CU’s next batter, reached on a five-pitch walk before a pair of fielder’s choice helped PC get its first two outs of the frame. With Witt on second and two outs on the board, Barefoot singled on the infield as Witt ran 180 feet to score, adding CU’s sixth run of the inning.
With an 8-3 lead, Heintzman retook the mound in the top of the sixth and allowed a leadoff double and then a one-out single, ending his day on the mound. With runners on the corners and one gone, pitching coach Chris Marx called in redshirt-junior lefty Julian Blackburn to face a right-handed batter. Blackburn needed just two pitches to work a 4-3 groundout that did allow a run to cross the plate.
Junior right-hander Jonathan Tyler was called upon to face a left-handed batter with a Blue Hose on second and two outs. The Los Angeles Mission College transfer got a swinging strikeout to keep CU’s 8-4 lead intact.
In the sixth, after Gimenez and Packard drew consecutive walks and then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, Wolf drove in Gimenez with an RBI single into left-center field. Just one batter later, Minnick drove in his fifth run of the ball game with a deep fly ball into right field, scoring Packard for Campbell’s tenth run of the day.
Campbell added an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI single by Harris, who drove in pinch runner Waldy Arias, padding CU’s lead to 11-4.
Senior Tyson Messer came in to pitch the ninth and allowed two Blue Hose to reach via hit by pitches, but got all three outs by way of three swinging strikeouts.
Up next, the Camels will host the UNCW Seahawks for a non-conference midweek matchup in the Creek. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2 at Jim Perry Stadium. One day later, the Fighting Camels will rematch with NC Central in Durham. First pitch against the Eagles is set for 6 p.m. at the Durham Athletic Park.