Baseball – Campbell No-Hits Middletown North to Advance Colts in MCT
Lincroft, NJ - For the first time all season the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team was facing a multiple-game losing streak, a three-game that included a 6-2 loss to Middletown North earlier this week. On Saturday morning, that losing streak came to an end and a bit of Colts baseball history was made when senior Kenny Campbell took the mound for CBA in the second round of the Monmouth County Tournament.
Campbell faced 22 batters and went 1-2-3 in six of seven innings en route to a no-hitter that lifted CBA to a 3-0 win over the Lions. The no-hitter was the eighth in Colts history and Campbell is the sixth player to do so, following Mike Scalafani (three times), John McCarren, Kyle Slate, Steve Gallinaro and Jose Alonzo. The only blemish on the scorecard for Campbell was the second batter in the second inning, when he hit Seth Ziegler on the elbow. For the game, Campbell struck out nine and walked none with a variety of pitches keeping the Lions offense silent.
"I wasn't thinking about the no hitter during the game," Campbell said. "I just wanted to get 'W' after three losses and just needed to execute my pitches and do my job for my teammates."
Campbell breezed through first inning against Middletown North with a 1-2-3 inning. The Colts wasted no time making noise in the bottom of the first when Cid Porter got on base after getting hit with the first pitch from Lions starter Tyler Ras. Things went from bad to worse for the Lions when Evan Menendez laid down a perfect bunt that was thrown over the head of Ziegler and set the Colts up with runners at the corners.
Brandon Martorano laced a single to left scoring Porter and advancing Hernandez to second still with no outs. Nick Hohenstein followed with a fielder's choice shot to third baseman Kyle Capo, who stepped on third for the first out but the throw to first to try and get Hohenstein again went over the head of Ziegler scoring Martorano from second. The Lions would get out of the inning only down 2-0 but the damage was already done.
Campbell got into a little trouble in the top of the second but quickly recovered and still finished off the Lions offense. After getting catcher Walter Schopf to line out to third, Campbell’s next pitch caught the elbow of Ziegler, who would be Middletown North’s only base runner of the game. Campbell struck out Garrett French and then got Mike Mercier to ground out to third to end the Lions only threat of the game.
Middletown North's Tyler Ras, who closed out the Lions' win over CBA on Tuesday afternoon, once again pitched a quality performance but was done in by the first-inning errors and Campbell's pitching performance. After the first inning, Ras sat the Colts offense down 1-2-3 in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings before giving up another run in the bottom of the sixth when Menendez led off with a single to center and was followed by a single from Martorano to left field that was misplayed allowing Menendez to advance to third. Three pitches later Nick Hohenstein drove in Menendez with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the final run of the game.
In the top of the seventh inning, Campbell struck out the first batter and then received some defensive help to keep the no hitter alive. On a 2-1 pitch, North's Kyle Capo hit a liner up the middle, but shortstop Sal Rinaldi made a diving catch for the second out of the inning. The next batter grounded out to third and the celebration was on for Campbell.
"What a great play he made," Campbell said of Rinaldi's catch. "I owe him dinner for that play. He has been grinding all season long and great to see him make that play in that spot."
CBA later defeated Freehold Borough, 4-2, to advance to the MCT semifinal against Middletown South. Freehold was the other Class A North team that defeated CBA this week and just like they did against Middletown North, the Colts avenged that loss in a tournament setting.
Campbell's start was all the more important with CBA ace Luca Dalatri nursing a hamstring injury that has kept him out since he went 1-for-3 in a loss to Holy Spirit on Sunday. According to CBA coach Marty Kenney, Dalatri is day-to-day.
"Today he threw an exceptional bullpen session," Martorano said. "Kenny said during game he didn't have his best stuff today, but I guess thats what they say: when you don't have your best stuff you pitch your best game."