After Liberty’s Victor Cole and Campbell’s Nick Thayer dueled in a 2-1 Camels’ win last night, Mitchell and Camels right-hander Grant Yost found themselves locked in another pitchers’ duel in the Big South contest, this afternoon. Each pitcher allowed two hits apiece through the first six innings.
Mitchell allowed one run on five hits over 7 2/3-plus innings, but did not figure in the decision. He struck out five and walked three. The right-hander did not allow a runner past second base through the first seven innings.
Trailing 1-0 through seven, Campbell pushed across the tying run in the eighth and then won in the ninth on a walk-off double by catcher Zach Minnick.
Liberty falls to 5-6 in Big South play and 19-17 overall. Campbell moves to 7-4 in conference and 20-16 overall. With today’s game, the Flames have now played in 15 one-run contests in 2016. Last season, Liberty played in 15 one-run contest in their entire season (56 games).
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the game’s opening inning, cashing in on its only two hits during the first seven innings. Left fielder D.J. Artis lead off the contest with a single to left and promptly stole second base. Two batters later, second baseman Will Shepherd moved Artis to third base with a sacrifice bunt. First baseman Andrew Yacyk followed with a two-out, opposite field RBI single to right field for an early edge.
The Flames looked to add to their advantage in the top of the eighth. Catcher Josh Latta led off the inning with Liberty’s third hit of the contest, a single, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Josh Barrick. Center fielder Jack Morris followed with a bunt base hit, advancing Latta to third with one out. However, Latta was thrown out at home plate trying to score on a ground ball to first base by Artis, keeping the score at 1-0 Liberty.
In the bottom of the inning, Campbell knotted the contest. Second baseman Adam Wyse opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Kyle Pratts. Two batters later, center fielder Ben Calvano drew a two-out walk. Shortstop Anthony Lopez followed with a RBI singled back through the middle of the infield to plate Wyse and tie the game at 1-1. Liberty right-hander Shane Quarterley took over for Mitchell with two men on and got right fielder Brian Taylor to fly out to center to end the inning.
Back-to-back hits gave Campbell the 2-1 victory in the ninth. First baseman Mat Parrish beat out an infield single to open the home half of the inning. Minnick followed with a double off the right-center field wall, scoring Parrish with the winning run.
Quarterley suffers his first setback of the year, dropping to 5-1. He gave up one run on two hits in 1/3-plus innings.
Yost moves to 5-2. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits in pitching his third complete game of the season. He struck out four and walked one.
Liberty had four hits in the contest. Campbell collected seven. No player on either team had more than one hit in the game.
The Flames and the Camels will meet again in the finale of their three-game series, tomorrow at Jim Perry Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.