Topsail headed to baseball state championship; Wilmington’s Coley Thompkins NCAA bound


    FOUR OAKS, NC (WWAY) — Topsail High School is the 3-A East champion for high school baseball. The Pirates edged South Johnston on Thursday night with two runs in the top of the 7th inning to beat South Johnston 3-1 in game two of the series. The Pirates won game one of the series on Tuesday 10-6. Trader Flora knocked in the game winning run for Topsail in the 7th. Trent Hansley earned the win on the mound. Topsail will face either Burns or Piedmont next week in the state championship baseball series. The state championship series will either be played in Greensboro or Zebulon.


    - Advertisement -

    BUIES CREEK, NC (WWAY) — For the first time in 24 years the Campbell Camels are NCAA Tournament bound in baseball. Coley Thompkins and the Camels thought they would be going last season, but the Camels fell short when the NCAA bids were passed out. “Last year was heartbreaking,” Thompkins said. “We had an awesome season, just came up short, got snubbed by the committee and didn’t get into the tournament

    This year the Camels knew they would have to win the Big South Tournament in order to play in the national championship tournament. Campbell lost their opening game in the Big South, but they won their next five to get in. “To leave no doubt by winning the Big South Tournament and to just get over the hump to make it is an unbelievable feeling.” Greg Goff is the head baseball coach at Campbell. “The team just refused to lose for the last five games. It was an amazing run. I’m so thankful to our administration for allowing us to get here.”

    With 40 wins under their belt Campbell will open NCAA play on Friday night in Columbia South Carolina against the South Carolina Gamecocks. In fact this is the 3rd year in a row Campbell has racked up 40 wins. Coley Thompkins is a relief pitcher for Campbell. At least that was the case all season until last week when the former Hoggard pitcher received the surprise of his life at the Big South Tournement. “My first collegiate start in an elimination game in the conference tournament, it couldn’t have written up better for me personally. I just love that situation. I just feel like I thrive in that situation and that’s the moment that I live for.”

    ** Click the play video icon to see our interview with Coley Thompkins. Special thanks to Campbell University for their help with this story. We’ve posted more information on Campbell baseball below.

    BUIES CREEK, NC (CAMPBELL) — Campbell opens its first NCAA Regional in 24 years Friday at 7 p.m., taking on site host South Carolina.

    Big South Tournament Champion Campbell (40-19), seeded fourth in the Columbia Regional, is joined by No. 2 seed Maryland (36-21) and No. 3 seed Old Dominion (36-24) in the bracket, who will face off at 1 p.m. at Carolina Stadium, as well as the top-seeded Gamecocks (42-16).

    The Camels are 40-19 on the season after winning five in a row to claim their third Big South Tournament Championship last week. Sunday’s 9-1 championship game win over Winthrop gave Campbell its 40th win of the year, hitting the benchmark for the third straight season.

    Campbell is one of eight programs in the country to reach 40 or more wins in each of the last three seasons.

    The Camels are one of only two fourth-seeded teams in the field with 40 or more wins on the year, joining Bryant (42-14), the Northeast Conference champ.

    Joining the Camels from the Big South will be regular season champion Liberty as the third seed in the Charlottesville, Va. regional.

    Campbell won the Big South Tournament Championship for the third time in program history for the league’s automatic bid, also taking the crown in 1988 and 1990. The Camels will be making their second overall NCAA Tournament appearance, last making the field in 1990, when they traveled to Palo Alto, Calif.

    Matt Parrish, who was named Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-America this week, leads the Camels on the season with a .328 average and 22 RBI, while John Reilly bats .320 with 27 runs scored. Steven Leonard, one of four Camels on the Big South’s all-tournament team, hits. .303 for the year with 41 runs and 29 RBI. Matt Nadolski bats .303 for the year with 47 RBI and 44 runs scored, adding 24 extra base hits.

    On the mound, Ryan Thompson has posted a 6-2 record with 17 saves, adding 2014 Big South Tournament MVP to his resume. The senior owns a 1.22 ERA, striking out 81 in 37 appearances.

    Hector Cedano is 8-0 this season with a 2.40 ERA, and Ryan Koopman is 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA. Heath Bowers owns a 10-3 record with a 2.95 ERA.

    The field of 64 teams competing for the 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship was announced Monday by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.

    The national top eight seeds are Oregon State (42-12), Florida (40-21), Virginia (44-13), Indiana (42-13), Florida State (43-15), La.-Lafayette (53-7), TCU (42-15) and LSU (44-14-1).

    Each of the 16 regionals features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from May 30 to June 2 (if necessary). Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on on June 2 at approximately 11 p.m. ET.

    The 68th Men’s College World Series begins play June 14, at the TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.

    May 30-June 2 – Columbia, S.C.

    Friday, May 30
    Game 1 – No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 3 Old Dominion – 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
    Game 2 – No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Campbell – 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

    Saturday, May 31
    Game 3 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
    Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

    Sunday, June 1
    Game 5 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
    Game 6 – Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

    Monday, June 2
    Game 7 – If Necessary – 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

    ** Click the play video icon to see our interview with Coley Thompkins. Special thanks to Campbell University for their help with this story.