Campbell tops Winthrop, wins first Big South championship since 1990
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Matt Nadolski went 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored to help third-seeded Campbell claim the 2014 Big South Championship with a 9-1 win against No. 2 Winthrop.
Campbell battled back with five straight wins in the tournament after falling in the team's opener Tuesday.
The Camels defeated No. 7 Charleston Southern 6-2 Thursday before taking a wild 15-11 victory Friday evening.
Campbell then defeated No. 4 High Point 3-1 and 2-1 on Saturday to earn a spot in the league's title game for the second consecutive season. The four game streak came after the Camels dropped their Tuesday opener 9-2 to Coastal Carolina.
The title is Campbell's third Big South Tournament Championship, also taking the crown in 1988 and 1990. The Camels will be making their second NCAA Tournament in program history, last making the field in 1990.
CU improved to 40-19 on the season, hitting the 40-win mark for the third consecutive season.
Senior reliever Ryan Thompson was named the tournament's MVP, while Matt Nadolski, Steven Leonard and Elijah Trail also earned spots on the all-tournament team.
Thompson went 1-0 with three saves on the week, spreading nine scoreless innings over all five of Campbell's wins, striking out four with a walk.
Nadolski hit .462 while scoring seven runs in six games, while Trail blasted two home runs and drove in five. Leonard scored eight runs with eight hits and three stolen bases.
Winthrop finishes the year with a 27-33 mark.
Hector Cedano (8-0) went 4.1 for the win in his second start of the tournament, allowing just a run on seven hits with four punchouts.
Bobby Thorson tossed a stellar 3.2 , allowing just a hit with four strikeouts and two walks. Ryan Thompson closed out the ninth, allowing a pair of hits before fielding the final out of the game for the win.
Sam Kmiec (6-4) took the loss, going seven innings with six runs on 10 hits, three strikeouts and two walks. Jason Driver allowed three runs on three hits with a strikeout in 1.1, while Matt Crohan fanned one in 0.2 of an inning.
Trail and Clayton Brown both went 2-for-3 in the championship game, scoring twice, while Brown added an RBI. Leonard and Will Albertson also knocked in and scored a run in the win.
Campbell jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the game, plating three runs in the first, and another in the second before Winthrop got on the board in the third.
The Eagles threatened in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with one out before Thorson picked up a strikeout and a groundout fielder's choice to end the inning.
After tacking on a run in the seventh on John Reilly's single to center, the Camels piled on four in the eighth, including a two-run double from Brooks Borders.
The Eagles, who took the Big South's South Division in the regular season, opened the tournament with a 4-0 win against Charleston Southern before topping Coastal Carolina 3-2. WU earned a berth to the 2014 championship game with a 6-5 win against top-seeded Liberty Saturday.