View Mobile Site

M’m! M’m! Good

Campbell stymies Dogs on two-hitter in 2-1 L-E win

Posted: March 19, 2015 2:35 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2015 1:00 a.m.
C-I photo by Tom Didato/

CAMDEN’S LAWSON STOKES DIVES safely back into first base while Lugoff-Elgin first baseman Gunner Smith takes the late pickoff throw in the first inning of Wednesday’s game between the rivals at Optimist Field.

View More »

With runs and hits both at a premium, it took the smallest of small ball to help Lugoff-Elgin to a 2-1 win over visiting Camden on Wednesday night at Optimist Field.

The hosts scored the winning run in a bottom of the fourth which was kept alive by a one-out, 10-foot squibber in front of home plate which was followed by Gage Branham’s sacrifice fly to give Randy Stokes’ team a 2-0 lead.

Camden scored its lone run a half inning later but could do no more damage against 6-foot-6 Elliott Campbell who pitched a complete game two-hitter with three strikeouts as the Demons remained perfect through three regular season games and seven overall.

Across the way, 6-foot-4 Bulldog Will Abbott went all six innings, allowing five hits with nine strikeouts.

Both L-E runs --- the first of which came in the third --- came in innings in which ground balls that never left the infield played central roles. That is fine and dandy with head coach Randy Stokes, who you will not hear complaining with the results.

"That’s what we’ve been doing; that’s what our kind of baseball has been so far this year," he said. "We’re putting balls in play and even those squibbers are finding places where people can’t make plays on them. That’s one of the reasons why we are where we are today.

"We’re getting a lot of breaks and I hope that continues. A break here and a break there are what have won ballgames for us."

The loss dropped Camden to 3-2 on the regular season after having lost three games in a pre-season tournament. It snapped a two-game win streak but was another night in which the Bulldogs received a strong effort from their mound staff.

"Abbott threw the ball really well," said Camden head coach Denny Beckley in assessing the performance of his junior. "He really had his slider and his off-speed stuff working along with a pretty good fastball; he was able to mix and match there.

"We just didn’t get enough people on base."

Campbell faced just 13 batters in four hitless innings. Camden had base runners in each of the first two frames after being hit by a pitch. The latter of the pair, Devin Beckley reached second on a one-out stolen base in the second.

L-E, meanwhile, struggled against Abbott who displayed the ability to get his off-speed pitches over the plate to go along with his fastball.

The hosts would get to Abbott for a run in the third with Brock Robinson recording the game’s first hit by beating out an infield roller. He was erased at second on a Chase Galloway fielders’ choice. With Zach Branham running for the catcher, the freshman took second on a wild pitch. With two gone and Russ Radcliff at the plate, Abbott used a pair of curveballs to get ahead in the count at 0-2. Waiting on a fastball, the senior shortstop sent one to left field which drove Branham home with the first run.

After a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, Campbell was given another run to play with as Bradwin Salmond led off with a single to right and stole second. With one gone, Chase Roberts would swing at a pitch which just about made its way onto the grass area in front of home plate. When the ball could not be fielded cleanly, it advanced Salmond to third. He would make it 2-0 when Gage Branham followed by sending a sacrifice fly to center field.

Camden was blanked by Campbell for the first four frames but not, Beckley said, due to a lack of trying on the Bulldogs’ part. In the early going, the visitors had just three strikeouts while having putting the L-E defense to work.

"We had a lot of good swings," Beckley said. "If you’re swinging aggressively and hitting little doinkers and flares, then you might get a little frustrated. We were hitting a lot of line drives. I thought, eventually, we would get to (Campbell) and some of those hits would fall, but they just didn’t.

"The Campbell kid threw really well for them. We hit some balls on the screws early, right at them; probably five or six pretty good line shots. It’s a strange game sometimes."

After four frustrating innings, the Dogs ended Campbell’s shutout bid in the fifth, which proved to be the lone blip on the radar for the righty.

With one gone, Devin Beckley was hit for the second time. Abbott then sent a single to right field with Beckley sliding into third base just ahead of a strike from Roberts in right while Abbott landed on second with the throw going to Blake Serpas at third base. Christian Flick then sent an RBI single through the box to cut the score in half. But Campbell would bear down and got himself out of further problems with a fly ball to left for the second out and a grounder to second to end the inning and kick off a stretch in which he would retire the final eight batters he faced.

"We gave Elliott a run in the (fourth) and he kept battling and kept getting outs so, we left him out there," Stokes said of the decision not to bring in Salmond to close the game. "His pitch count didn’t get too bad. He was at about 82 to 85 pitches.

"It was a good outing for him. He made some good strides tonight."

L-E threatened again in the sixth which opened with Salmond’s double --- his second hit of the game --- to right before he was bunted over to third by Gunner Smith. A Gage Branham walk put runners on the corners with one out. It took a diving stab by CHS first baseman Lawson Stokes on a Robinson grounder to squash the threat while keeping the Dogs within a run.

Campbell, however, made that run and lead hold up by retiring the side in order in the seventh with the ball never leaving the infield.

The hosts kept the pressure on Camden by getting the leadoff man on base from the third through sixth innings. CHS never put its first batter aboard in any frame.

"One thing that was a determining factor in this game was that they got leadoff men on base four of the six innings and we never did," Beckley said. "That was a huge part of our not being able to apply very much pressure on them with our running game."

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Contents of this site are © Copyright 2018 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...