Campbell splits Friday doubleheader at VMI

Ben McQuown (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Ben McQuown (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

Lexington, Va. – Campbell rallied for a 6-4 victory in the first game of Friday's doubleheader against VMI before falling late 3-2 in the nightcap to take a split against the Keydets. The teams will play the rubber game of the series on Saturday, which will now begin at 12:30 p.m.

All seven VMI runs on the day came via the home run ball. The Fighting Camels move to 32-9 overall, 9-5 in the Big South, while the Keydets are 12-26 overall, 5-12 in league play. Campbell is now one win away from equaling the program's single season wins record of 33, established by the 2001 team.

Game 1: Campbell 6, VMI 4

Campbell rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the afternoon game, using a three-run sixth inning to take the team's first lead of the game. Ben McQuown's RBI single with the bases loaded brought the tying run home and two more runs scored when the ball got underneath the leftfielder's glove and rolled to the wall. The two unearned runs ended up being the decisive score in the 6-4 victory.

VMI took an early advantage on a two-run homer in the first inning off the bat of Jacob Morley to give the Keydets a 2-0 lead. It was just the third home run CU starter Matt Sergey had allowed on the season.

The Fighting Camels scratched one run back in the third inning when McQuown singled, stole second and came around to score on Jake Kirkland's RBI double. VMI immediately answered in their half of the inning, using a second two-run homer, this one from Rob Dickinson, to increase the Keydet lead to 4-1.

CU got two runs back in the fifth inning. Jimmy Brenneman reached on a hit by pitch and McQuown followed with a single, his third base hit in a 5-for-5 game for the junior. They both moved up on a balk before Brenneman scored off a wild pitch. McQuown then scored his second run of the day on an RBI ground from Felton to draw the Camels within a run at 4-3.

The three-run sixth inning evolved with just two Camel hits, as Cam'Ron Summers and Jimmy Brenneman reach base courtesy of a HBP and walk, respectively, before scoring the decisive runs during McQuown's at-bat.

Matt Sergey (5-0) earned the win for Campbell, tossing seven innings while scattering eight hits and four runs. He struck out six VMI batters while walking only one. Ryan Mattes entered in the eighth inning and retired all six batters he faced to pick up his fourth save of the season.

Game 2: VMI 3, Campbell 2

VMI again got on the board early with use of the long ball when Dickinson led off the bottom of the first with a home run to center field of Camel starter Frank Zier. Zier allowed just four hits and that lone run over six innings of working, finishing with three strikeouts and two walks in a no decision.

The 1-0 score held up until the fifth inning, when Bryce Grady led off the frame with a single, advanced to second on a sac bunt and later scored on an RBI single from Brenneman.

Campbell took its first lead of the nightcap on a solo home run from David Olson during the top of the eighth. The Keydets responded in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single from George Piccirilli, as VMI put six of the eight leadoff men reached base during the second game of the doubleheader. Morley followed with his second home run of the day, this one a game-deciding shot to center field off CU reliever Matt Marksberry.

John Garrett (1-2) worked a perfect ninth to complete his second inning of work in taking the win. Marksberry took the loss to drop to 4-2 on the season. Olson, Nick Ray and Blake Boyce each had two hits to lead the Camel offense during the nightcap.