LEXINGTON, VA. – Heath Bowers pitched into the ninth with nine strikeouts and Steven Leonard knocked in two runs to lead Campbell to a 6-2 win at VMI to open its Big South series Friday night at Gray-Minor Stadium.
Campbell moved to 32-16 on the season and 15-7 in Big South games with the win, while VMI dipped to 22-20 overall and 9-13 in conference play.
Bowers (8-2), a junior from Lillington, N.C., fanned nine in his eighth win. The righty pitched eight scoreless before allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth, where he allowed four of his six hits on the night.
He was perfect through three innings, when Jordan Tarsovich's infield single fell to lead off the fourth. Bowers also walked two, one intentional, in the win.
Ryan Thompson entered the game with one out and two on in the bottom of the ninth, striking out the only two batters he faced, for his 13th save of the season.
Reed Garrett (5-6) took the loss for the Keydets, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 7 1/3 innings pitched.
Four VMI hurlers combined for the next three outs, walking five with three hits and three runs.
Miles McQuaig struck out the final two Campbell batters in the top of the ninth.
The Camels added two more in the fifth. Clayton Brown led off with a single before an error allowed Sam Rector to reach, giving the Camels two on with none out. After John Reilly's sacrifice bunt moved the two, Danny Pardo singled in a run, slapping one through the left side.
Leonard followed with his second RBI of the night, a sacrifice fly, to make it 3-0 Camels.
Will Albertson's RBI single in the ninth also came with the bases loaded, putting Campbell on top 6-0.
Eric Mayers broke up the shutout in the ninth, driving in Cameron Walter with a single up the middle. Matt Winn then doubled, knocking in another VMI run before Thompson closed down the rally.
Leonard finished the night with two RBI on a 2-for-4 outing, adding a double and scoring a run. Pardo also notched two hits with a RBI and a walk for the Camels. Reilly also scored two runs for the Camels, going 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt and a walk.
Josh Worthley went 2-for-4 for the Keydets.
The Camels return to Buies Creek for their final home contest on Tuesday, May 13, hosting UNC Wilmington. Campbell finishes out the regular season next weekend at Coastal Carolina.