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Opponent Preview: Campbell

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Meet the Camels (again)... the Big South Conference front-runners

Baseball Game Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Campbell

Mascot: Bumpy Desert Horses | School Location: Buies Creek, NC | Conference: Big South

2019 Record: 27-16 (15-5, 1st) | 2018 RPI Rank:79

2018 Record: 35-26 (21-6*, 1st) | 2018 RPI Rank: 109

2017 Record: 25-32 (10-14, 8th) | 2017 RPI Rank: 220

*2018 Big South Regular Season and Tournament Champions


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Tuesday, May 7 @ 6:00pm

TV: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WKNC 88.1 in Raleigh, GoPack All-Access

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

This is the second meeting between the Wolfpack and the Camels this season, but the first meeting took place over two months ago back when the season wasn’t even two weeks old... we were so young back then; so full of energy and hope. Ahhh, those were the days...

Anyways, catch up on the preview for that February game here. As for what actually happened in that game? State cruised to an easy 10-1 win, and Evan Edwards had a sweet swim-move slide at the plate.

In our preseason non-conference preview, I predicted that Campbell would end up at 24-29 overall with a 15-12 conference record. Welp, I was dead wrong about that. This team will reach 30 wins and is currently sitting with the inside track on claiming their second straight Big South regular season title. The Camels have a one-game lead over Winthrop and Radford (and a head-to-head tiebreaker over Radford) with a road series at Winthrop on deck for this weekend. Campbell will finish up their regular season with a home series against Big South bottom-dweller Longwood, so if they can take two-of-three from Winthrop this weekend, they’ll most likely wrap up another conference title.

This is a team that lost a ton of talent from a year ago and went hard at the JUCO ranks trying to find immediate replacements. That fails more times than it succeeds, but it’s worked so far for the Camels this year.

At the plate, this isn’t a lineup that’s going to power past you with a bunch of extra-base hits, but they will do the little things like wear pitches (5th in the nation in team HBP) and swipe a bag to move a runner up (24th nationally in SB/game).

On the mound, this isn’t an other-worldly staff, but they’re solid in the starting rotation and in the bullpen. They do have one weakness, though: issuing walks.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Tuesday: LHP Kevin Westlake (JR)


Key Players:

Offense

LF Matthew Barefoot (RS-JR) - .300 BA, .400 OBP, .553 SLG, 170 AB, 10 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 40 R, 37 RBI, 20 BB, 17 K, 21-26 SB. Barefoot isn’t having the monster year like he put up a year ago, but he’s still the most dangerous hitter in this Campbell lineup. He’s a well-rounded, complete hitter. Been plunked by 40 pitches in his career (11 this year). 1-for-5 with a R, K, and SB vs State earlier in the year.

2B Collin Wolf (JR) - .336 BA, .463 OBP, .517 SLG, 149 AB, 7 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 38 R, 35 RBI, 27 BB, 26 K, 11-13 SB. Wolf got off to a hot start in his first year at Campbell and he’s kept it going. Interesting to see a guy with pop and decent wheels with only seven doubles on the year. Excellent BB:K rate, especially when you factor in that he also has 10 HBP. Was 0-for-1 with a BB and HBP in the first game against the Pack.

SS Luis Gimenez (SR) - .318 BA, .405 OBP, .432 SLG, 176 AB, 15 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 37 R, 31 RBI, 18 BB, 16 K, 19-21 SB. Gimenez is a former JUCO All-American who’s finally playing like it in Buies Creek after a bad junior year. He leads the team in doubles and, like Barefoot and Wolf, maintains a great BB:K ratio. Has some good wheels to turn singles into doubles and swipe bags. Went 1-for-4 with a 2B, BB, and an RBI vs State in February.

DH Spencer Packard (JR) - .291 BA, .404 OBP, .390 SLG, 141 AB, 8 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 21 R, 30 RBI, 20 BB, 18 K, 1-1 SB. Packard is a JUCO transfer from Arizona, currently riding a 7-game hitting streak. Not the most athletic guy, but he swings the bat well. Was 0-for-4 with 2 Ks in the first game vs State.

Pitching

LHP Kevin Westlake (JR) - 2-2, 5.97 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .275 OBA, 13.7 K%, 16.4 BB%, 37.2 IP, 39 H, 29 R, 25 ER, 30 BB, 25 K. JUCO transfer from Louisburg College where he was teammates last year with current NC State RHP Jason Parker and his current Campbell teammate RHP Seth Johnson (who is a flame-throwing converted infielder projected to go anywhere from Round 2 to Round 6 in this year’s MLB Draft). Westlake has been Campbell’s midweek starter the entire season. Control has been his biggest issue (30 BB, 6 HBP, 6 WP in 37.2 IP).

RHP Landry Moore (JR) - 3-0, 4 SV, 2.13 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .221 OBA, 17.6 K%, 7.4 BB%, 25.1 IP, 21 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 8 BB, 19 K. Transfer from Division II Barton College in Wilson, NC, where he was the Bulldog’s top reliever a year ago. Moore’s numbers at Barton (5.01 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .289 OBA, 21.2 K%, 8.3 BB%) didn’t provide reason for much excitement or expectations for Campbell fans, but he’s turned into the team’s closer. A sidearm/submarine delivery guy who uses that funky arm angle to get hitters out.

RHP Jonathan Tyler (RS-JR) - 1-0, 1 SV, 3.20 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .209 OBA, 31.3 K%, 18.1 BB%, 19.2 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 15 BB, 26 K. A big 6’5, 240 lbs JUCO transfer from California who started his college career at UC Santa Barbara. Like Johnson, Tyler was considered more of a fielding (OF)/hitting prospect than a pitching prospect. Pitched on Saturday for the first time after a three week absence.

RHP Logan Heintzman (RS-SO) - 3-2, 1 SV, 3.37 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .248 OBA, 25.8 K%, 11.6 BB%, 34.2 IP, 32 H, 15 R, 13 ER, 18 BB, 40 K. Heintzman was at the bottom of the pitching staff last year as a redshirt freshman, but has come on strong this year to lead the team in relief innings. Has only allowed more than one run in an appearance once this season.


Quick! Fun Facts!

NC State is 51-16-1 all-time versus Campbell

Campbell is just 10-9 in road games this season.

The Wolfpack offense ranks 5th nationally in doubles and 6th in walks.

Campbell catcher Zach Minnick has thrown out 14 of 29 attempted base stealers this year.

It’s “Dollar Dog Night” tonight at the Doak, y’all! Go get yourselves a $1 hot dog! Students get a free hot dog! Hot dang! (I’m sorry, I’m not proud of myself for that one)


Prediction

With an upcoming series at Winthrop this weekend that will most likely decide the winner of the Big South Conference, I’d have to imagine that Campbell won’t overtax any of their top arms in this one. With Campbell throwing a pitcher with known control issues in Westlake, there could be a lot of bullpen arms thrown for the Camels.

NC State will start JR RHP Alec Barger on the mound, but lately the midweek games have been mostly Johnny Wholestaff affairs for State, so who knows how long he’ll go in this one.

Outcome: NC State takes the win, 7-3.