Baseball breaks program winning streak mark in Saturday sweep of Longwood

Bryce Grady (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Bryce Grady (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

Video Highlight (Game 1)

BUIES CREEK - Campbell won its 13th consecutive game on Saturday, concluding a sweep of Longwood to top the baseball program's previous long winning streak of 12 games, set by the 1986 team. Saturday's doubleheader sweep included wins of 9-5 and 5-2 over the Lancers.

The Fighting Camels swept their second consecutive three-game weekend series, moving to 18-3 on the season, and the team also surpassed last season's win total of 17 games. Longwood falls to 11-9 on the year and returns to the diamond to host Old Dominion on Tuesday. Campbell returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Coppin State in a 6 p.m. game at Taylor Field.

Game 1: Campbell 9, Longwood 5

Campbell opened the day scoring five runs over the first four innings to take a 5-0 lead. Brent Graham provided an RBI single in the second inning to score Kyle Holmstrom and put the Camels on the scoreboard.

The hosts then pushed across four runs in the fourth, sparked by Bryce Grady's leadoff double. After two errors and a sacrifice bunt, Jimmy Brenneman smashed a two-RBI triple to left center field, scoring Graham and Holmstrom. When Brenneman scored on a passed ball, CU had jump out to a 5-0 advantage after four innings.

Longwood responded in the following inning, scoring two runs in the fifth. The Lancers' opened the frame with base hits from Brandon Delk and Alex Owens and Conner Hall followed by draw a hit by pitch. Zach Mihalko singled to left field to bring one run in, and the Lancers added a second run on a fielder's choice groundout to draw within three at 5-2. Camel starter Frank Zier got out of the jam by inducing a flyout, leaving two runners on base.

LU tacked on another run in the seventh, scoring on Justin Lacy's RBI single. Zier departed after the seventh, allowing nine hits and three runs during his start for the Camels. He also struck out seven Lancer batters, allowing no walks in picking up the win to move to 3-0.

Campbell gained four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the first of which came when Jimmy Brenneman hit the left field foul pole for his second homer of the season. Michael Felton added an RBI single in the frame, finishing the game 3-for-5 at the plate. Bryce Grady also finished with a three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.

Logan Self picked up the save in relief, entering the game when CU held a 5-3 lead in the eighth. He scattered three hits and two runs over his two innings of work, striking out one. Kyler Morgan took the loss for the Lancers, falling to 2-2.

Game 2: Campbell 5, Longwood 2

Campbell rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the record breaking series finale, with the Camels tacking on four runs over their final four at-bats for the 5-2 victory. The hosts took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after Jake Kirkland led off with a double, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on Felton's sacrifice fly.

CU Game 2 starter Heath Bowers worked out of trouble in the third inning, getting a strikeout and a groundout to strand the bases loaded. He was relieved in the fourth inning after allowing three hits and two runs in his three-plus innings, striking out three and walking three. Right-hander Andrew Jacobsen entered the game and threw three innings of two-hit relief, surrendering no runs and striking out three batters.

Joey Varaksa brought Longwood even in the fourth, scoring Robby Newman on an RBI triple as part of his 2-for-4 game. Varaksa then scored on Owens' single to give the Lancers a 2-1 lead. LU again left the bases loaded in the frame, stranding ten runners total in the game.

The Camels began a rally in the sixth inning, again initiated by leadoff man Jimmy Brenneman. After singling through the left side to open the inning, Brenneman advanced to second on Ben McQuown's sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a fly-out and then scored on Kirkland's RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.

Ryan Mattes entered the game in the seventh inning out of the Camel bullpen and sat down the Longwood lineup in order, recording two strikeouts. The CU offense took the lead in the bottom of the inning with two more runs, sparked by leadoff singles from Grady and Blake Boyce. After the runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt, the Camels pushed the runs to the plate on a fielder's choice and a sac fly.

Campbell scored an insurance run in the eighth to take a 5-2 lead. Mattes earned the win after going two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three batters. David Olson came on in the ninth inning and recorded the save, his third of the season.