Camels eliminated from Big South Championship with narrow 6-5 loss to High Point

Kevin Barron (Courtesy of Andy Smith)
Kevin Barron (Courtesy of Andy Smith)

LEXINGTON, S.C. --- Fourth-seeded High Point edged eighth-seeded Campbell 6-5 in an elimination game of the 2017 Big South Championship Friday night.

The Camels finished the 2017 season with a 25-32 overall record while High Point improved to 30-22 and moved on to Saturday's action in the conference tournament.

A leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt put the go-ahead run on second base for the Panthers in the top of the eighth inning. Austen Zente came up and ripped a pitch to deep right field that hit off the glove of the chasing Jeff Hahs and fell in for a double. Andrew Gottfried came around to score from second on the paly to put High Point ahead 6-5.

The first two Campbell batters were retired in the ninth, but Hahs kept the game alive with a two-out walk. Cole Hallum followed it with a single that sent pinch runner Bryce Myers to third. However, with the tying run just 90 feet away, Rion Murrah recorded his 11th strikeout of the day to seal the Panthers' narrow victory.

Murrah (4-0) earned the win after allowing just two hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings of work out of the pen. Wyatt Tyson took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run, but did record three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings on the mound.

Campbell plated five runs in the top of the third to take a 5-3 lead. Singles from Kevin Barron and Kyle Mehl led to Drew Butler driving in the Camels' first run off a single. Adam Wyse followed it up with a bunt single to score Mehl.

Wyse moved to second on a stolen base before Hahs put two more runs on the board with a single. Matthew Barefoot wrapped up the scoring by singling home Hahs.

Barron finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate while Hahs was 1-for-4 with a walk. Allan Winans started on the mound for Campbell and went 6 1/3 with three strikeouts and no walks while surrendering four earned runs on nine hits.

The Panthers plated single runs in the third and fifth innings to tie the game at 5-5 through five complete. JJ Woodard led HPU at the plate with a 3-for-3 effort with a RBI and a walk. Conner Dunbar and Carsen Jackson each finished 2-for-4 from the dish while Tim Mansfield drove in two runs on his lone hit of the day.