Big South Preview
Camels Look to Finish Job
inning. One run. One win.
Liberty scored a run in the top of the ninth to take a 2-1 win
over Campbell to claim the Big South Tournament title, the
Camels and their 49 wins awaited an at-large bid.
was a very difficult time,” Campbell coach Greg Goff (left)
said. “Last year, really going through that whole experience
really made us grow in our faith and what we’re doing.”
year’s Camels blend some new pieces – particularly up the middle
with a new catcher, second baseman, shortstop and center fielder
– with some old. Starting pitchers Heath Bowers (9-0, 1.69 ERA)
and Hector Cedano (8-2, 3.50) return.
Ryan Thompson (right), who was virtually unhittable in a 9-1,
10-save campaign, and his 0.88 ERA also is back – the righty
sidearmer was the 2013 Big South Pitcher of the Year and claims
the honor this preseason.
makes such a huge difference if you have a lead in the seventh,
eighth or ninth and give him the ball,” Goff said of Thompson, a
CollegeBaseballInsider.com honorable mention All-American who
led the nation with a 0.88 ERA.
after the NCAA Tournament Committee cited a weak schedule,
Campbell plays nine teams that made the postseason in 2013,
including North Carolina, NC State, UNC Wilmington, William &
Mary and conference foes Liberty and Coastal Carolina.
Flames and Chanticleers were tabbed by Big South coaches as the
teams to beat in the North and South divisions – the Camels tied
with the Flames with six first-place votes in the North.
Gardner-Webb and Radford, which both boast plenty of returning
pitching depth, are teams to watch, according to Goff.
really think our league has really grown, just in the two years
I’ve been here,” Goff said. “The bottom and top are not that far
apart…Every weekend, it’s a battle.”
the Camels, Goff said not much has changed even though his squad
is among the favorites. He’s quick to point out his squad
controlled its destiny to win the Big South tourney and that it
will use that as a positive for this year. The Camels’ mentality
is to work harder and outhustle their peers.
guys don’t want to have that feeling that we felt,” Goff said.
“Watching the selection show and being left out.”
(photos by Bennett Scarborough)