HIGH POINT, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Campbell first baseman Nick Ray had four hits and four RBI to lead No. 2 Campbell to a 10-4 victory over No. 7 High Point in the completion of Game 4 of the 2012 Big South Baseball Championship presented by Brookwood Farms BBQ and Triangle Rent A Car at Williard Stadium on the campus of High Point University. Campbell improves to 41-16 and plays No. 3 Liberty tentatively on Wednesday night. The Panthers fall to 26-30 and will play No. 6 UNC Asheville in an elimination game later Wednesday afternoon.
CU-HPU resumed at 9:30am after being halted Tuesday night in the third inning due to weather. High Point was ahead 2-1 and was due up in the top of the third when play was suspended because of lightning and then rain.
Campbell replaced starter Matt Sergey with Frank Zier, who retired HPU in order in the third inning. HPU starter Ryan Retz threw just 27 pitches Tuesday night and returned to the mound for the Panthers.
The Camels scored five runs in the bottom of the third to take their first lead of the game at 6-2. With one out, Jimmy Brenneman doubled to the gap in left-center and came around to score on Ben McQuown's single. Michael Felton was hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second, and Jake Kirkland doubled home McQuown to make it 3-2. Retz then hit David Olson to load the bases, and Ray delivered a base hit through the infield to plate Felton and Kirkland. Retz was replaced on the mound by Joe Goodman, but the Camels managed another run for the four-run advantage.
Retz, who remained in the game at designated hitter, got some of the runs back in the fourth when he sent a 3-2 pitch over the rightfield wall for a two-run home run that scored Sean Wilson, who had walked.
Campbell would stretch its lead to 9-4 with three scores in the bottom of the fifth. The inning was highlighted by Felton's single to right, which was his 101st hit of the season to break the Big South single-season record of 100. The Camels added another run in the seventh for its largest lead of the day and eventual winning score of 10-4.
High Point had gotten on the scoreboard first with a run in the first inning. Willie Medina led off the game with a single, and after an out, stole second. Ryne Rush's groundout moved Medina to third, and Spencer Angelis's infield hit brought Medina home for the 1-0 lead. The Panthers made it 2-0 in the second inning on Mike Miedzianowski's run-scoring single that scored Wilson from second.
Campbell got one of the runs back in the bottom of the second, as Olson reached on an error and scored on Ray's double to the gap in right-center. But Retz picked Ray off second, got Ben Fish to ground out and struck out Erick Gaylord to end the inning and keep HPU ahead, 2-1. The severe weather began in-between innings.
The victory was Campbell's first win in the Big South Tournament since winning it all in 1990 and snaps a four-game losing streak in the Conference postseason in its first year back in the League.
In addition to Ray, Brenneman had three hits, while Fish had three RBI. Zier pitched the final seven innings in earning his fourth win of the season. He allowed just two runs on four hits and struck out two.
Retz finished with two RBI but suffered the loss to fall to 6-5. He went 2.1 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits with three strikeouts.
Campbell Head Coach Greg Goff
"This was a great way to start out the tournament, responding from last night's suspended game. I was pleased with the energy level we displayed this morning to come out and compete at a high level against a very good High Point team. We look forward to advancing to the next round."
High Point Head Coach Craig Cozart
"Obviously this is a disappointing loss. I thought we came out last night with a lot of energy and had momentum on our side but today Campbell came out and put up five runs immediately and that was the ballgame. We didn't quit but we couldn't stack hits together. Now we have to figure out to come back and beat Asheville later today."