BUIES CREEK – Ben Fish drove in the eventual game-winning RBI with a single through the left side to score Jake Kirkland in the seventh inning and Campbell (40-16, 15-9 Big South) held on to defeat Presbyterian (24-31, 10-14 Big South) 4-3 on Saturday afternoon to take the series win. CU finishes with a 29-7 record at Taylor Field in 2012 and won all eight of the three game series' that were played at home.
Prior to the game, six seniors were honored in Senior Day festivities. Jimmy Brenneman (West Chester, Ohio), Erick Gaylord (Atlanta, Ga.), Kyle Holmstrom (Livermore, Calif.), Josh Holskey (Roanoke, Va.), Matt Sergey (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Frank Zier (Frederick, Md.) were all taking part in their final weekend series at Taylor Field.
Michael Felton provided some excitement early, legging out a triple in the first inning for his 100th base hit of the season to tie the Big South single season record. Felton was 5-for-13 on the weekend and his batting average stands at .431 heading into postseason play.
Presbyterian got on the scoreboard first, taking advantage of two walks from CU starter Hector Cedano in the third inning when Kenny Bryant doubled down the rightfield line to score Billy Motroni and put the Blue Hose in front 1-0.
Campbell answered in the fourth inning, as Jake Kirkland led off the frame with one of his two doubles on the day and advanced to third base on an error. After David Olson reached on a walk, Fish recorded a sacrifice fly to score Kirkland. Erick Gaylord then singled up the middle to bring Olson around and give CU a 2-1 advantage.
The two clubs each pushed one run across in the fifth inning, with PC scoring on a sac fly from Brad Zebedis and Campbell using two Blue Hose errors to reclaim the lead. In a game that saw four lead changes and two ties, Presbyterian knotted the game again in the sixth inning on another sacrifice fly, this one off the bat of Jay Lizanich.
Cedano left in the sixth inning after scattering six hits and three runs over five-plus innings of work. He was relieved by Andrew Jacobsen, who allowed just one hit over the next two innings while striking out one batter.
Kirkland opened the seventh inning with his 18th double of the year and he advanced to third on a single from Olson. That opened the door for Fish to pick up his second RBI of the day on what proved to be the game-winning single to score Kirkland.
Matt Marksberry tossed the final two innings of the game, striking out three batters to gain his second save of the season. Jacobsen took the win, improving to 7-0 on the mound this season.
Michael Ricchi was credited with the loss for Presbyterian, falling to 1-4 on the year after allowing three hits and one run in two innings of middle relief. PC starter Beau Dees had surrendered three runs (one earned) on six hits over the first four innings, walking three batters and striking out one.
Campbell clinches a second place finish in the Big South standings with the victory and will play on Tuesday in the opening round of the conference tournament at High Point University. Complete tournament pairings will be posted later tonight by the conference office.