DURHAM, N.C. - After trailing 1-0 early, Campbell scored five runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and added four more in the ninth en route to a 9-3 victory over the Duke baseball team Wednesday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Now hitting .333 as a team, the Camels recorded 13 hits, including six for extra bases, and had six players with multiple hits on the afternoon. Campbell's Ryan Mattes (3-0) earned the win, his third of the season, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two. Right-hander Logan Self closed out the remaining four innings for the save, striking out four while allowing just one hit.
"First off, [Campbell is] a very good club," said head coach Chris Pollard. "They are a very veteran club. They play with a lot of confidence and they really understand what they are trying to do. We knew coming in that they were going to try to be very aggressive on the bases and that try to use, as they have the last couple of years, the hit by pitch to kick start their offense. At times I thought we did a good job of controlling that today, but at times they did a good job of imposing their will on us offensively."
Freshman right-hander James Marvel (0-1) picked up the loss for Duke. The rookie from Moraga, Calif., went 4.0 innings, allowing five runs on five hits in his second career start. First baseman Chris Marconcini led the Blue Devils at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI.
Duke (4-3) struck first in the midweek matchup as Marconcini drilled a solo shot over the right field wall to put the Blue Devils on top 1-0 in the bottom of the second. The home run was Marconcini's second this season and sixth of his career.
The lead would prove to be short-lived as Campbell (7-1) answered in the top of the third. Clayton Brown led off the frame with a triple to right center and came home on a sac fly from Ben McQuown for the Camels' first run of the game.
An Elijah Trail solo home run began a three-run fourth inning for the Camels as Campbell secured a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way. A single and a hit batter put two men on and Brown delivered the two-out, two-RBI double to left center to put Campbell on top 4-1.
Duke responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring a pair of runs with two outs. Marconcini began the two-out rally with a single up the middle, followed by an Anthony D'Alessandro triple down the right field line. After Mark Lumpa was hit by a pitch, freshman Kenny Koplove lined a single to left field for his first career hit and RBI, pulling Duke within one run.
A second leadoff triple for the Camels, this time off the bat of Brent Graham, allowed Campbell to plate its fifth run of the game. Graham would reach home on a ground ball to second from Michael Felton, giving Campbell a 5-3 lead in the fifth.
The two teams would battle through three scoreless innings in the sixth, seventh and eighth before Campbell broke the game open with four runs in the ninth. McQuown started the inning with a single up the middle. Graham laid down the bunt down the first base line and beat out the play to put two runners on with no outs. Back-to-back doubles from Felton and Trail made it an 8-3 game before a Michael Delucia single plated the final run of the day.
"I think you learn from that," Pollard added. "We ran a lot of really young guys out there today. When you are a young guy and you are trying to learn how to control an aggressive team and still execute the pitch, that can be more difficult than a team that maybe doesn't run a lot. An aggressive team that steals bases does that to you. I thought at times we handled it well and I thought at times we let it affect our ability to execute the pitch today. That is what we will learn from it. How to do the best job you can to control the running game, but when it is time to execute the pitch, you have to execute the pitch."
Duke and Campbell will meet for a second time this season on Mar. 26. The Blue Devils will travel to Buies Creek, N.C., for the 6 p.m., game.
The Blue Devils return to action this weekend as Duke hosts Towson in a three-game series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. First pitch of game one is set for 4:30 p.m., Friday.