Who’s the Pack playing?
Mascot: Lumpy desert horses | School Location: Buies Creek, NC | Conference: Big South
2021 Record: 4-2 (0-0, T-1st) | 2020 RPI Rank: 180
2020 Record: 7-9 (0-0, T-1st) | 2019 RPI Rank: 191
2019 Record: 37-21 (19-7, 1st*) | 2018 RPI Rank: 50
*2019 Big South Regular Season & Tournament Champions
When? Where? How do I watch?
Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)
Game Time(s): Tuesday, Mar 2 @ 3:00pm
TV: ACC Network
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Tell me about this team
The Camels were just 7-9 in 2020, but are the 2021 preseason pick to win the Big South Conference. rSR SS Collin Wolf returns to lead the offense and is the Big South Preseason Player of the Year. Speaking of that offense, Campbell returns all but one player who stepped into the batter’s box last year, so they’re predictably off to a solid start to 2021, slashing .294/.402/.478 as a team (NC State is slashing .311/.393/.481). rSR RF Spencer Packard, rJR CF Connor Denning, and rSR 1B/LF Matthew Christian are helping to lead the improved lineup. Packard was one of the team’s top hitters in 2019 and Christian has pounded 10 HR in 198 career PAs. Also pitchers hate Waldy Arias. Not because he does a lot of damage (.244 career BA, .305 career SLG%), but he’s been beaned 19 times in 123 career PAs.
Pitching-wise for the Camels, the full 2020 weekend rotation of rJR RHP Cam Cowan, rSR RHP Logan Heintzman, and rSR LHP Kevin Westlake returns, although Cowan is the only one of those to have started a game in 2021. The starting rotation has been bolstered by the return of 2019 Big South Freshman of the Year rSO LHP Ryan Chasse (7-2, 2.95 ERA, 76.1 IP, 61 H, 27 BB, 58 K in 2019), who missed last year with an injury. FR RHP Thomas Harrington has also looked great through the first two starts of his career. The bullpen returns key 2020 arms in rSR RHP Jack Yusko, rFR RHP Keegan Houser, and rFR RHP Brendan Wright. Oddly enough, Houser has yet to appear in a game despite the Camels using 17 different pitchers in six games.
Who’s on the mound for these guys?
Tuesday: RHP Cade Boxrucker (rSO)
SS Collin Wolf (rSR) - .318/.448/.409, 2 2B, 7 R, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 4 K, 2-2 SB. Big South Preseason Player of the Year. Former JUCO transfer has been all-or-nothing this year with multiple hits in three games and zero hits in three games.
CF Connor Denning (rJR) - .391/.517/.826, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 R, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K. JUCO transfer (shocker on this year <— sarcasm). Was pretty awful a year ago, so his offensive surge this season has been great for Campbell.
RF Spencer Packard (rSR) - .421/.500/.632, 4 2B, 3 R, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K. Was an incredible force his first year out of JUCO in 2019, but struggled last year. Back to swinging a hot stick this year. Good hitter.
1B Matthew Christian (rSR) - .444/.542/.944, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 1-2 SB. Power bat from the right side who had been basically a two outcome (XBH or K) hitter until this year. Another former JUCO transfer.
RHP Cade Boxrucker (rSO) - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K. Freshman from Ohio. This will be just his second career appearance and first career start, but it’s doubtful he goes more than a pair of innings.
RHP Jonathan Tyler (rSR) - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Former JUCO transfer who is in his third year with the Camels. Big 6’5, 240 lbs frame. Had control issues up until this year (25 BB in 28.1 IP coming into 2021).
RHP Fred Sisco (rFR) - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Had bad baseball card numbers last year (7.11 ERA), but the advanced numbers said he pitched better than that. All you need to know is his roster picture:
RHP Jack Yusko (rSR) - 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K. Raleigh kid from Cardinal Gibbons HS. Sidearm delivery out of a setup that looks like he’s going to go submarine on you. Not overpowering stuff, but high spin rates on his pitches and the funky delivery make him effective. Textbook situational bullpen guy with more career appearances (57) than innings pitched (50.2).
Quick! Fun Facts!
The two teams have evenly split the last 10 meetings.
Campbell has 16 states and 2 Canadian provinces represented on their roster.
NC State is going to need starter David Harrison to provide some depth into this one to save the coaching staff from having to turn yet again to the bullpen. Campbell is going to go Johnny Wholestaff, but their bullpen has been successful to this point, albeit against hitters not to the level of what they’ll face Tuesday.
Outcome: NC State pulls out the win in a high-scoring affair, 10-9.