BUIES CREEK – Campbell (38-15, 13-8 Big South) moved into second place in the Big South standings with a doubleheader sweep of Radford (26-24-1, 11-10 Big South) on Saturday at Taylor Field. The Fighting Camels won the first game 6-4 before taking the nightcap 1-0 behind the arms of Hector Cedano, who tossed 8.1 innings of three-hit ball in the start, and Ryan Mattes. Mattes recorded a save in all three games of the series to break the Campbell single season saves record with his ninth of the year in Game 2.
Michael Felton was 6-for-9 on the day to complete a week in which he batted .625 (15-for-24) with five RBI and four runs scored. He broke the Campbell single season hits record during the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, finishing with 95 hits on the year to top Ellis Lowe’s previous mark of 92 hits, set during the 2010 season.
Campbell concludes the regular season at home next weekend against Presbyterian. The final Big South series will feature three single games, beginning on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Friday’s game will be “Johnny Parker Day” at Taylor Field, as the CU baseball programs honors the father of former student-athlete Colin Parker, who is battling cancer. Fans can buy raffle tickets at the 6 p.m. game to help support the Parker family. Senior Day will be held on Saturday with a 1 p.m. scheduled start time.
Game 1: Campbell 6, Radford 4
Campbell scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Jake Kirkland gained his team-leading 53rd RBI of the season on a sac fly to plate Ben McQuown. CU then scored twice on bases loaded walks from RU starter Tyler Costello. Costello finished with three walks on the day in 5.2 innings pitched, scattering six hits, four runs and six strikeouts over that time.
Radford scored two runs in the fifth and two in the seventh to the game. The first three batters in the order for the Highlanders finished with seven of the team’s ten hits, led by Josh Gardiner’s 3-for-5 day.
CU broke the 4-4 tie with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to get a 6-4 win in a back-and-forth game. Felton, David Olson and Ben Fish all had two hits in the opener to lead the Camel offense.
Frank Zier provided a solid start the Camels, allowing just eight hits and two runs through his first six innings of work. After recording the first two outs of the seventh inning, RU mounted a two-out rally that plated two runs on just one hit to tie the game and give Zier a no decision. He finished with four runs, three walks and two strikeouts.
Andrew Jacobsen entered with the bases loaded and got a strikeout to keep the game tied. He tossed 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit and picking up the win to move to 6-0 on the eyar. Mattes entered with two on and two out in the ninth and recorded two strikeouts around a walk to get the save. Patten took the loss for RU, falling to 2-4 on the year.
Game 2: Campbell 1, Radford 0
The nightcap saw a pitcher’s duel between Radford starter Mark Peterson and Campbell left-hander Hector Cedano. The Highlanders only put more than one runner on base in an inning one time before the ninth, and a double play helped Cedano end that threat during the fourth inning.
Campbell scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the fourth, with the rally starting with a single from Felton and a double from Kirkland. David Olson came through with a RBI groundout to the right side, allowing Felton to come to the plate with what proved to be the winning run.
Cedano set a new career high with 8.1 innings pitched in his start, allowing three hits and two walks over the first eight innings. After recording an out to lead off the ninth, he walked the next three batters to load the bases.
Having already recorded a save in Game 1 to tie the school single season record, Mattes entered and induced the game a soft dribbler back to the mound that he tossed home to catcher Ben Fish for the second out of the inning. He then struck out Radford pinch hitter Westyn Baylor to pick up his third save in less than 24 hours and secure the series sweep for Campbell. The shutout was Campbell’s sixth of the season, also a school record for the pitching staff.
Peterson took the loss for Radford, falling to 4-2 after pitching 6.2 innings and surrendering seven hits and one run.