BUIES CREEK – Campbell split a Saturday doubleheader with Marist, dropping the first game 7-5 before holding off a Red Fox rally in the nightcap 9-8. The Fighting Camels move to 2-1 on the season after taking the season opening series, while Marist falls to 1-2.
CU rallied on two separate occasions to tie the first game of the day, only to see the Red Foxes score two runs in the ninth inning to take a 7-5 victory.
Marist jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Mark Brennan connected on a two-run homer to left field. The starting pitchers kept each team's offense at bay through much of the first five innings, while both departed with no decisions.
Camel starter Frank Zier (Frederick, Md.) went five innings, scattering six hits and three runs with one walk and three strikeouts. Brett Houseal got the start for Marist and pitched six innings of five-hit ball, allowing two runs and three walks with three strikeouts.
The Red Foxes scored another run across in the sixth inning as Mike Orefice scored on Pat Welsh's sacrifice fly.
The Camels rallied in the seventh inning, scoring three runs to even the game at 3-3. Blake Boyce (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Jimmy Brenneman (West Chester, Ohio) each recorded RBI singles in the inning and Bryce Grady (Kinston, N.C.) added an RBI groundout.
Marist answered in the following inning, capitalizing on a two-out, two-RBI double from Brennan, who finished the game two-for-three with four RBI and a run scored. The Camels again answered in the home half of the eighth inning, as Kyle Holmstrom (Livermore, Calif.) came through with a two-RBI single to even the score.
The Red Foxes would push across the eventual game-winning runs in the top of the ninth, after a Camel error with one out allowed Zach Shank and Mike Orefice to record back-to-back RBI hits that put Marist back on top.
Ryan Koopman (0-1) took the loss for Campbell, while Jake Rifkin (1-0) picked up the win for Marist, pitching two innings of no-hit relief for the Red Foxes.
The nightcap saw Campbell hold off a furious Marist rally in the ninth inning as the Camels preserved a 9-8 victory to take the opening series. David Olson (Auburn, Wash.) took the mound with one out and the potential go-ahead run at the plate and worked around a Camel error to record the final two outs and his first save in the Orange and Black.
Campbell drew first blood in the rubber match of the series, loading the bases off singles from Michael Felton (Tempe, Ariz.) and Holmstrom and a Ben McQuown (Waianae, Hawaii) walk before scoring runs on another walk and a hit by pitch to take a 2-0 lead.
Marist answered with three runs in the third and one in the fourth to rally for a 4-2 lead before CU scored six runs in the sixth on four hits, one error, one walk and one HBP. The inning was highlighted by Brent Graham's (Portland, Ore.) two-RBI single that put the Camels in front for good. Jake Kirkland (Pauline, S.C.) added a two-run double down the left field line to make it an 8-4 Camel advantage.
The hosts pushed across an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Kirkland scored on Felton's RBI single. The scoring play turned out to be the game-winning run as Marist pushed across four runs in the ninth before Olson shut the door. Andrew Jacobsen (Puyallup, Wash.) earned the win, tossing five innings in relief of Camel starter Paul Eyster (Selinsgrove, Pa.). Jacobsen surrendered just four hits and no runs before he ran into trouble in the ninth inning.
The Fighting Camels will travel to Durham on Tuesday to take on Duke University at Jack Coombs Field on the Duke campus. First pitch is set for 3:15 p.m.