BUIES CREEK – Campbell used a complete game shutout effort from starting pitcher Frank Zier (Frederick, Md.) to finish the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record in the Campbell Invitational Tournament.
Zier finished the game with six strikeouts and three walks and one hit batsman, scattering four hits across his nine shutout innings. The result was the first complete game shutout for a Camel pitcher since Jeff Rydman recorded one at Florida A&M on March 3, 2009.
Alex Maldonado doubled to left center to lead off the game for the Crusaders, but it was the only Holy Cross hit until the fifth inning as Zier settled into a groove. Jimmy Brenneman (West Chester, Ohio) put the Camels on top in the bottom of the first, sending a long fly ball to left field that sailed out of the park for the first home run of his Campbell career.
Campbell stranded five runners on base from the second to the fourth innings, unable to push across additional runs against Holy Cross starter Tom Marra. Zier worked out a jam in the top of the fifth, getting Mike Ahmed to ground into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded and two outs to get out of the innings. The Camel offense then capitalized in the bottom of the frame, scoring six runs on five hits to take a 7-0 advantage.
Brenneman again ignited the scoring, singling through the left side to get the fifth inning started. After Ben McQuown (Waianae, Hawaii) sacrificed him to second base, Brenneman stole third for his team-leading sixth steal of the season. Michael Felton (Tempe, Ariz.) reached on a hit by pitch to set the stage for newly-named Big South player of the week Jake Kirkland (Pauline, S.C.).
Kirkland responded by slicing an RBI single to left field for his team-leading 15th RBI of the season. David Olson (Auburn, Wash.) followed with a two RBI double down the left field line to push the Camel lead to 4-0. Kyle Holmstrom (Livermore, Calif.) singled in Olson, and later in the inning Cam'Ron Summers (Muskogee, Okla.) connected on a two RBI single to round out the scoring in the fifth inning.
CU scored once more in the seventh inning, as Nick Ray (Gulfport, Miss.) was hit by a pitch, stole second base and advance to third on a throwing error by the catcher. He then scored on Ben Fish's RBI single up the middle that put the Camels in front by the final 8-0 margin. Brenneman, Holmstrom and Felton all finished with two hits on the afternoon to lead the Camel offense. Zier moves to 2-0 on the mound this season with the win.
Maldonado was a bright spot for the Crusader offense, finishing two-for-three with a walk in the game. Tom Marra took the loss for Holy Cross, dropping to 0-1 this season.
Campbell returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to Greensboro to take on North Carolina A&T at War Memorial Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Holy Cross continues its swing through the Carolinas, returning to action on Tuesday at Charlotte for a 4 p.m. start time.