BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell’s Anthony Lopez hit a first-inning, solo home run that proved to be lone run of the game, as the Camels (23-21, 10-6 Big South) edged PC (23-22, 9-10 Big South), 1-0, on Friday night at Jim Perry Stadium in Buies Creek, N.C. The game was delayed nearly two hours due to rain and lightning but lasted just one hour and 56 minutes, as the starting pitchers dueled.
PC starter Brian Kehner recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts on the mound, tying the PC Division I school record for strikeouts in a game. The only other PC pitcher to total 13 Ks since 2008 is Bud Jeter, who retired High Point 13 times via the strikeout in 2013. Kehner ended up the tough-luck loser in the contest, despite allowing just the one run on two hits and one walk.
Campbell starter Nick Thayer (7-5) tossed a shutout to earn the victory, allowing three hits with no walks against eight strikeouts. Four PC batters were able to reach base but only one was able to advance past second base.
Weston Jackson reached base twice in the loss, going 1-for-3 on the night for the Blue Hose. AJ Priaulx went 1-for-3 at the plate, while Nick Wise recorded the final PC hit of the night in his only at-bat.
Lopez was 1-for-3 with the only run and an RBI of the game. Matt Parrish managed the only other hit of the game for Campbell, a double in the fourth inning, to go 1-for-3.
The solo homer came just two batters in to the game, as Lopez drove a 2-1 pitch out to left field to make the margin 1-0 in favor of Campbell. Following the home run, Kehner retired the next five batters via the strikeout and the next eight in a row in total before the fourth-inning double by Parrish.
Priaulx singled to lead off the second for PC for the team’s first hit of the game. He would be caught stealing a few pitches later, though, to erase an early threat. Two innings later, Jackson singled with two outs to put a man aboard but Thayer recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
Junior Snow drew a lead-off walk for the Camels in the sixth to put a man aboard. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second with one out but Kehner got a strikeout and a pop out to end the inning with no damage. The junior lefty retired the final 12 batters that he faced in the contest.
PC’s best chance of the game came in the top of the seventh. Jackson reached for the second time in the game, this one coming on a throwing error by the shortstop that put him at second with one out. A groundout would move him to third with two away but a foul out stranded him there.
The two hits by Campbell were tied for the fewest by a PC opponent this season. The Blue Hose also held La Salle to just two base hits back on March 5 in a game also started by Kehner, in which he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters.
The two will face off in game two of the series on Saturday at 3 p.m.