Alexander Lee helps lift Highlanders over Campbell



After the road game against Virginia was cancelled due to weather, Radford came back home for a weekend series against the Campbell Camels.

Game one of the series was all about the Highlanders.

Campbell got out to an early lead in the top of second inning, John Reilly singled down the left field line, which sent in Will Albertson; Seth LaRue also scored. The Highs sent one in with when Josh Reavis grounded out to shortstop, Alexander Lee came across home plate for the first point of the night.

The scoreboard went quiet for three innings. Then in the bottom of the fifth Lee finled out to centerfield sending Chris Coia home, tying the game up at 2. Hunter Higgerson got things rolling next when he homered to left field sending home Patrick Marshall and Gardiner giving the Highs the 5-2 lead going into the sixth inning.

Five more runs were scored for the Highs in the sixth inning. Reavis was the first to get across the plate when Gardiner singled to left field, Coia then advanced to second base. Shane Johnsonbaugh then doubled to right field moving Gardiner to third and sending home Coia. The score was then 7-2 but the Highs were not stopping there, Marshall singled to center field sending home back Johnsonbaugh and Gardiner. Higgerson reached on by a fielding error from the Camels and Brad Keen scored making the score 10-2, that was the last score of the night for the Highs. But Campbell sent home one more player trying to cut the score down some, but would fail to get any other runs in.

The final score of game 1 was 10-3; pitcher Dylan Nelson was awarded the win, which put him at 5-3 on the season. Nelson pitched 7.2 innings with nine hits, two runs, and six strikeouts. Daniel Bridgeman relieved Nelson, pitching 1.1 innings with zero hits, one run, and two strikeouts.

Campbell scored early in the second game sending two across the plate. Danny  Pardo was the first to score for the Camels, from a single from Matt Nadolski. Nadolski then was sent home with a double from Matt Parrish and advancing LaRue to third base. But that was all that the Camels would get in the first inning. The Highs could not get anything going in the first to keep up with Campbell.

In the top of the second inning, Nadolski bombed one over the right field fence sending in two runners, extending Campbell’s lead to 5. Finally in the bottom of the second inning, Hunter Higgerson scored on a wild pitch to get the Highs on the board. But that would be the only run for the Highs until the fifth inning.

Gardiner got things moving when he doubled to right center in the top of the fifth, Keen scored adding another run to the board. The game went quiet again with both pitchers working the mound trying to capitalize on the win for the Camels, and Radford trying to get more runs across the plate.

In the ninth inning, Campbell tried to get more runs on the board but Kyle Zurak was able to hold them off to give the Highs some momentum going into the bottom of the inning.

The Highlanders had many bases loaded, no out situation but could not capitalize. Higgerson reached on base by a fielding error by Campbell, Marshall was then walked to reach on base. Campbell then changed pitchers hoping to keep the Highs from scoring. Johnsonbaugh then singled to right field advancing Marshall to second and Higgerson to third. Reavis was up next for the Highs, but got hit by the pitch sending him on base and sending Higgerson home to add to the Highlander score. The game was now 5-3 with the bases loaded and no outs. Blake Sipe struck out looking giving the Highs the first out of the inning. Danny Hrbek went in pinch hitting, he was also hit by a pitch and sent on base sending Marshall home and cutting the lead to one.

With the bases loaded and only one out, the Highs went back to the top of the batting order sending Gardiner out to hit. But Gardiner could not capitalize and was struck out swinging. Coia was then sent to the plate with two outs and the bases still loaded, but again could not capitalize on the situation and struck out swinging. The Highs lost game 2 5-4.

The final game of the series proved to be a tough game for both teams. Campbell again got things started in the first inning when Parrish singled to left field sending home Pardo for teh 1-0 lead. The bottom of the first, the Highs went 1-2-3, giving them no runs on the board.

The game would then stay at 1-0 until the bottom of the third when Hrbek scored off Coia’s fly out to center field, tying the game at 1-1.

The Camels got another run in in the top of the fifth when Pardo singled to right field getting Reilly to score. Then again in the top fo the sixth Campbell scored again giving them the 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. But the Highs could not get anything across the plate.

Nadolski homered in the top of the eighth innning extending the Camel lead to 3. All hope of the Highlanders tying the game was begining to fade.

In the bottom of the eighth Johnsonbaugh singled up the middle, Marshall also single to center field, giving the Highs two on base with Lee coming up to hit.

Lee homered with two on to tie the at 4-4! But that was all the Highs could do in the eighth.

After nine innings the game stayed tied at 4-4 which sent the game into extra innings. No one could capitalize on the extra innings to get a run on the board until the bottom of the 13th inning when Lee hit a single that sent Coia home to give the Highs the 5-4 win!

The Highs will go on the road tonight to play East Tennessee State and then return home this weekend for a series against Quinnipiac.