Baseball breaks program record for single season wins in dramatic 2-1 victory over #24 Coastal Carolina

Hector Cedano
(photo by Will Bratton)
Hector Cedano (photo by Will Bratton)

Conway, S.C. – Hector Cedano allowed just one run and struck out four batters while tossing a career high 7.1 innings on Sunday afternoon, leading Campbell to a 2-1 victory over nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina (32-14, 14-4 Big South). Ryan Mattes converted a dramatic save in Campbell's 34th victory of the season, which establishes a new single season mark for CU Baseball.

The previous program high of 33 wins was set by the 2001 club. Campbell (34-14, 10-8 Big South) has eight regular season games remaining, beginning with Tuesday's away game at Wofford.

After committing six errors in Saturday's doubleheader, CU played a clean defensive game in the finale with the game's only error coming from Coastal Carolina. The Fighting Camels threatened early, putting two runners on base with one out in the second inning, but a batter's interference call on a stolen base attempt snuffed out the CU rally attempt.

Campbell got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, with Jake Kirkland getting thing started with a leadoff single and then stealing second base. Kirkland was driven home on a RBI double from David Olson. Two batters later, Ben Fish reached on a two-base error on Chanticleer second baseman Tripp Martin and Olson came around to score a second CU run in the frame.

CU starting pitcher Hector Cedano escaped a jam in the fifth inning after allowing three singles to load the bases. After falling behind in a 2-0 count to Alex Buccilli, Cedano battled back to get a ground ball that allowed Campbell to escape the frame without allowing a run to preserve the 2-0 lead.

Martin led off the seventh inning for Coastal with a solo home run to centerfield, his first homer of the year to cut the Camel lead in half at 2-1. Cedano then recorded two fly-outs before giving up a single to Ted Blackmon. A solid pickoff move from Cedano allowed Campbell to pick Blackmon off first without having to pitch to dangerous Coastal batter Daniel Bowman.

Cedano established a new career high in innings pitched with his 7.1 innings of work in which he allowed one run on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks. He exited with one out in the seventh inning and a runner on second base. Ryan Mattes allowed a walk to his first batter in relief, but escaped the frame to hold the one-run Camel advantage.

The bottom of the ninth inning provided plenty of drama, though it started off harmless enough as Mattes recorded two consecutive out. Back-to-back singles from Jacob May and Ted Blackman put runners on first and second for dangerous three-hole batter Daniel Bowman. Already 2-for-3 on the day and batting .397 on the year, Campbell intentionally walked Bowman after the count had run to 3-1, loading the bases with two outs and a one-run Camel lead.

Buccilli, the cleanup hitter, ran the count to 3-2 going against Mattes and fouled off the next pitch in the tense at-bat. Mattes won the matchup, getting Buccilli to fly out to centerfield and pick up his team-leading sixth save of the season in the historic win.

David Olson rounded out an impressive weekend with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, collecting one RBI and one run scored to account for both Camel runs. The junior from Auburn, Wash. improved his batting average to .375 after a seven-hit weekend.

Campbell returns to action on Tuesday, taking on the Wofford Terriers in a 4 p.m. game in Spartanburg, S.C. The Fighting Camels will return home for a Wednesday matchup with North Carolina Central in Buies Creek.