Cole locked in a pitchers’ duel with Campbell starting pitcher Nick Thayer throughout the Big South contest.
Cole threw his second complete game of the season, allowing two runs on two hits. Both of the Camels’ runs came in the fourth inning. The left-hander struck out nine and walked five. He falls to 3-3 on the year.
Meanwhile, Thayer gave up one run, scattering six hits over eight innings. He struck out 10 and walked two. The right-hander moves to 6-3.
Liberty left 10 men on base, while Campbell stranded four runners.
The Flames fall to 5-5 in Big South play and 19-16 overall. The Camels move to 6-4 in conference and 19-16 overall. Liberty has now played in 14 one-run games, this season.
Liberty loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third. But Thayer was able to strike out the next Liberty batter to keep the game scoreless.
After a scoreless first three innings, Campbell struck for two runs in the fourth. Shortstop Anthony Lopez struck out only to reach on a wild pitch to begin the home half of the inning. He then advanced to second when the next batter, right fielder Ben Taylor, walked. First baseman Matt Parrish followed with the Camels’ first hit of the game and their only hit through the first five innings, a double, scoring Lopez for a 1-0 advantage. Two batters later, left fielder Drew Butler lifted a RBI sacrifice fly to left to give Campbell a 2-0 edge.
The Flames threatened again in the fifth. With two outs, designated hitter Nick Walker doubled off the right field wall. Right fielder Will Shepherd followed with a single through the left side of the infield, moving Walker to third. However, Thayer once again ended the threat by striking out the next Liberty batter to keep the Camels’ 2-0 advantage.
Liberty trimmed its deficit to one in the top of the eighth. Shepherd and left fielder Andrew Yayck led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Shepherd then moved to third base on a fly ball to center field. With runners on the corners, pinch runner Tray Roberts stole second base. When Campbell catcher JD Andressen’s throw got away from shortstop Lopez, Shepherd headed for home and scored, cutting the Campbell lead to 2-1.
The Flames were able to move the tying run into scoring position in the top of the ninth against Camels reliever Erik Dowse. With two outs, center fielder D.J. Artis walked and stole second. Dowse then recorded the final out by getting Walker to fly out to center field to close out the win, picking up his third save of the season.
Shepherd was the only player in the game to collect two hits.
Campbell made two errors.
Liberty and Campbell will meet again, tomorrow at Jim Perry Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.