BUIES CREEK — A suicide squeeze in the seventh inning proved to be the decisive run in Campbell baseball’s 3-2 home win over Liberty Sunday afternoon.
The Camels (2-1) took the season-opening series, two games to one, after blowing past Liberty the day before.
Five Campbell pitchers combined to hold the Flames to five hits and two runs, while striking out 11, in the rubber match.
CU pitcher Thomas Harrington got the start in his collegiate debut and was impressive through five innings. The Sanford native allowed only two hits and one run while striking out six.
Two other freshmen, Ty Cummings and Cade Kuehler each made their debuts as well. Cummings threw 2/3 scoreless innings and Kuehler earned the win with 1 and 2/3 scoreless innings.
Liberty got on the board in the second on an RBI double from Brady Gulakowski. That was the only scoring for either side through the first five innings.
In the sixth, Campbell evened the score on a sacrifice fly by Spencer Packard. Packard lifted one to shallow left, and Mason de la Cruz opted to tag up. Cruz slid in just ahead of the one-hop throw to the plate to tie it at 1.
Liberty quickly retook the lead in the top of the seventh on an RBI single.
The Camels took their first lead of the day in the bottom of the frame.
Ryan Parquette shot a two-strike single back up the middle to plate Halstead and tie the game. After a wild pitch moved Parquette to third and the count to 2-2, CU head coach Justin Haire called for the suicide squeeze. Waldy Arias dropped a bunt down the third base line to score Parquette.
Collin Wolf collected three hits on the afternoon and Matthew Christian added two for Campbell.
On Saturday, the Campbell bats came to life and the offense exploded to top Liberty 17-3, avenging Friday’s season-opening loss in the process. Five Camels notched multi-RBI games and three of them hit home runs.
In the bottom of the second inning, Zach Williams lifted a ball out to right and over the wall for a three-run shot, following Wolf’s RBI double that brought home two runs as Campbell led 8-1.
Liberty’s Cam Locklear hit a two-run homer in the next inning to cut the lead to 8-3.
After three innings, the Camels held a 12-3 with Ryan Parquette hitting a homer, Wolf getting another RBI and Packard driving in two more.
Campbell starter Ryan Chasse threw five innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. The bullpen struck out seven and walked just two to help keep Liberty off the board.
The series win was the first over Liberty since 2016.
Campbell is set to play Dayton on Friday. That series will again be streamed on ESPN+.