April 2, 2012

Baseball hosts Duke Tuesday evening at Taylor Field

USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll

NCBWA poll

College Baseball Daily mid-major poll

NCAA statistical rankings

BUIES CREEK – The Fighting Camel baseball squad will host Duke (12-17, 5-7 ACC) on Tuesday evening at Taylor Field, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. Campbell (25-4, 5-1 Big South) defeated the Blue Devils 10-4 earlier this season at Jack Coombs Field on the Duke University campus, the second consecutive win for the Camels in the series that Duke leads 17-11. CU also took the last game in Buies Creek 4-1 in March 2011.

Campbell saw its 18-game winning streak come to an end Friday night against Charleston Southern, but the Camels swept the Saturday doubleheader to take the series and move into a first place tie atop the Big South with High Point and Liberty. CU improved to 25-4 overall, 5-1 in the league after finishing the month of March with a 20-1 record. With the two wins on Saturday, Campbell has reached the 25-win plateau for the 14th time in program history.

Following the team's sixth series win of the season against Charleston Southern, Campbell earned 16 votes in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, the 32nd team in the poll. The Camels were also receiving consideration in the NCBWA poll and the College Baseball Daily mid-major poll.

In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, Michael Felton continues to lead the nation with 55 base hits while carrying the third-best batting average in the country with a .470 clip. The Camels are batting .331 collectively as a team, the second highest mark nationally, one point behind Indiana State.

Other players atop the individual rankings include Jimmy Brenneman's 36 runs scored (fifth nationally) and 21 stolen bases (third overall). Ben McQuown also has the sixth highest total of sacrifice bunt across the country with his ten successful attempts.

Campbell leads the Big South in batting average (.331), while Michael Felton tops the league charts in batting average (.470), hits (55) and on base percentage (.522). Jake Kirkland is third in the league with a .402 batting average and second in RBI (31), on base percentage (.511) and slugging percentage (.645). Kirkland has reached base in every Campbell game this season.

The Camel pitching staff has two pitchers on the top 10 list for ERA with Frank Zier seventh in the Big South with a 2.45 ERA and Matt Sergey tenth at 2.83. Sergey's 49 strikeouts continue to lead the conference. With two wins on Saturday, Campbell has reached the 25-win plateau for just the 14th time in program history.