With the Stamford 18U Babe Ruth team facing elimination in the State Championship, Evan Campbell carved up New Milford tossing a CG with 7 K’s allowing 0 earned runs. Stamford won 4-1 forcing a winner take all matchup tomorrow #ctbase pic.twitter.com/Eh0AJwVn1q
— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) July 11, 2019
Evan Campbell may not have been the ace of the Stamford 16-18 Babe Ruth team’s staff when the season began, but with the team face to face with elimination there was never a doubt that he would be the man for the job.
Campbell, an AITE graduate in the spring, toed the rubber with his back against the wall and showed New Milford that his team was far from finished as he threw a complete game allowing no earned runs to secure a 4-1 victory, forcing a final elimination game on Thursday.
The two teams met just days ago when New Milford defeated Stamford 4-2 in the winner’s bracket semi-finals, sending undefeated New Milford into the State Championship with two chances at the title in the double elimination tournament.
Stamford got it going early as Rodd Salvatore led off the game with a single, advancing to third on a one out single by Axel Brellana. Salvatore would come around to score with some aggressive base running, taking home on a throw to first after a dropped third strike to put his team up 1-0.
Campbell took the mound in the bottom half, coming off of a complete game 1-0 shutout victory against Fairfield to open up the tournament five days before.
After surrendering a leadoff single hitting the second batter of the game, it looked as if he did not have his best stuff. The situation got worse when both runners took off for a double steal, putting men on second and third with no outs.
Two ground outs to the third basemen Salvatore and a strikeout later, Campbell had escaped the inning with no damage done.
Stamford kept putting the pressure on New Milford in the second as the first three batters of the inning reached safely to load the bases. A one out single by Campbell and a two out hit by pitch gave Stamford a 3-0 lead, which would prove to be enough for the ace.
“It’s great, them giving me a little cushioning in the beginning,” Campbell said. “It gives you a little room to breathe, a little room to work and just focus on throwing strikes.”
After his shaky start in the first inning, Campbell began to carve up the New Milford lineup, not allowing another hit until the fourth inning, and he quickly negated that baserunner by picking him off at second.
The only run Campbell would allow came in the 7th inning after a two out error that would have ended the game was followed by a run scoring double. A batter later Campbell was able to induce a ground ball to the shortstop to secure the win, and a chance at the State Title.
“Evan is just a special pitcher,” Stamford Coach Jim Serafino said. “He really has been working out well for us all season. He didn’t come into the season the ace, but he has ended up the ace because he has been working hard all year. That’s been his story, special.”
Campbell and the rest of the Stamford pitching staff have been dominant in the first five tournament games, helping the team outscore its opponents 37-6 in that span.
“We’ve got a really good team,” Campbell said. “Tomorrow we just have to put the bat on the ball and score some runs. Our pitching and defense will be there”.