WILMINGTON — Ben Campbell scattered four hits and got some outstanding defense behind him as St. Elizabeth picked up a quality win on the baseball diamond with a 4-0 shutout of Tower Hill on May 3 at Canby Park.
Campbell pitched to contact, trusting his fielders, and they didn’t let him down. He allowed two runners in an inning just twice but was able to get out of trouble both times. In the first, a single and a hit batter put two on with two out, but a ground ball to shortstop Matt Trout ended the inning. In the sixth, Anthony Muscelli doubled to open the inning, and John Gray walked with one out. But the Vikings recorded the second out on a grounder to Trout, and Luke Trout ran down a deep fly ball off the bat of Jordan Harmon to end the threat.
In between, Campbell was nearly perfect. The Hillers’ Christopher Simon singled to open the second, but he was erased on a double play. That began a run of 11 consecutive batters retired by Campbell.
The Vikings threw the leather around to great effect, particularly in the fourth. Jimmy Garrett ran down a foul popup down the first-base line, catching it with his back to the plate. Luke Trout retired the next batter with a sliding catch in left-center, and, not to be outdone, rightfielder Matt Ross came hard toward the infield to catch the third out.
Offensively, St. Elizabeth had just four hits, but they made their opportunities count. They got on the board in the first. Garrett reached on an error with one out, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Matt Trout. Trout stole second and came home when Campbell singled to right.
Campbell opened the bottom of the fourth with a double down the right field line and took third on a single to right by Nick Mancini. He scored on a double play. The Vikings added their final run in the fifth. Garrett reached on a fielder’s choice, eventually got to third and came home on a slow roller to third by Campbell.
Tower had one last opportunity in the seventh, getting their leadoff hitter on after a Vikings error. But one last defensive play took care of that. A popup into shallow right field was caught by John Smith with his back to the infield. Smith turned and threw to first, catching the runner a step off the bag. Ross caught a fly ball for the final out.
Campbell the batter finished with two hits, two runs batted in and a run scored. Matt Trout was on base three times with an RBI and a run scored, and Garrett was on base twice and scored both times. Campbell the pitcher struck out four and needed just 82 pitches to get through the afternoon. St. Elizabeth (8-6) remains home on Thursday against First State Military, with a 4 p.m. start.
Davis Bland allowed four hits and struck out four in 4.1 innings. Kenyon Motley did not allow a hit in his 1.2 innings, and he also struck out four. The Hillers (8-4) play their next three at home, beginning Thursday against Wilmington Friends at 4 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.