Campbell outslugs VCU 19-10 in wild elimination game


Hogan Brown runs to first base during an Old Dominion at VCU NCAA baseball game on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Amber Searls)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Matthew Christian went 3-for-4 with two doubles, driving in a pair and scoring four runs as Campbell outslugged VCU 19-10 in an elimination game of the Starkville Regional.

It didn’t go well early for the Fighting Camels (37-17). Brandon Henson’s three-run home run capped a four-run first inning for VCU (38-16), which finished with two straight losses after winning 22 straight.

Zach Neto and Grant Harris both hit two-run home runs in a five-run third for Campbell.

VCU turned a two-run deficit into a 10-7 lead with a five-run sixth capped by Connor Hujsak’s three-run homer, but the Fighting Camels answered with a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the inning.

The Rams head home having set a new program record for consecutive wins and captured their first Atlantic 10 tournament championship since 2015.

Also in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, Liberty University’s season also came to an end Sunday, as the Flames fell to Tennessee 3-1 in the Knoxville Regional championship.

Liberty beat Duke 15-4 earlier that day for the Flames’ second triumph over the ACC champion Blue Devils in the regional, setting up a rematch with the Volunteers from Saturday’s winner’s bracket contest that Tennessee won 9-3.

In order for Liberty to advance to this weekend’s super regional, the Flames would’ve needed to beat the Volunteers twice. But the tournament’s No. 3 overall seed would not be denied in the first of potentially two regional title games.

Over in Columbia, S.C., Old Dominion and Virginia will meet at 7 p.m. Monday to determine a Columbia Regional champion. The Cavaliers beat the Monarchs 8-3 Sunday night in a must win game for UVA.

UVA Reliever Brandon Neeck struck out 16 of the 17 batters he retired and Devin Ortiz hit a two-run home run helping the Cavaliers in scoring. Virginia starting pitcher Griff McGarry added eight strikeouts in his 3 1/3 innings of work as the pair combined to fan 24 of 27 batters retired.

The Cavaliers fought their way through the elimination bracket after dropping their tournament opener to host South Carolina on Friday, including sending the Gamecocks home with a 3-2 victory earlier on Sunday.

The No. 11 overall seed Monarchs went into Sunday night’s regional final needing one win over the Cavaliers to go to the super regionals. But UVA answered the call and have put themselves in a winner-take-all showdown for the right to play either Dallas Baptist or Oregon State in a best-of-three super regional for a berth in the 2021 College World Series.

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