NCAA Baseball Regionals 2014 Preview: Big South champion Campbell comes to Columbia as the No. 4 seed

Francois Nel

After barely missing out in 2013, the Camels are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 24 years

The fourth-seeded Campbell Camels are not a team to be overlooked, as Coach Holbrook reminded the media on Monday. The Camels are one of only two four-seeds to have 40 wins, and they enter the NCAA Tournament fresh off of winning the Big South Championship. The Gamecocks are 9-2 against Campbell overall, and the teams haven't played since 1993.  The Camels are the one regional team that the Gamecocks know for sure they will face, as the two open tournament play against each other Friday night.

Campbell did not have very many high-profile non-conference games, but they did beat Missouri early in the season and defeated NC State and Virginia Tech on back to back nights in late April. The Camels lost a game to UNC in early May. The Camels won five of their nine conference series, with sweeps on four of those weekends. Last week the Camels lost the opening game of the Big South tournament, then reeled off five straight wins to come up through the losers bracket and win the Big South Championship.

The Camels are 40-19 (18-8) and are 67th in the official NCAA RPI rankings. Campbell is hitting .273 with an on-base percentage of .344. The Camels are the only team in the country that has more HBP than Maryland; Campbell batters have been hit 122 times this season. The Camels are also fairly aggressive on the basepaths (at least compared to South Carolina) with 80 stolen bases in 109 attempts this year.  Campbell's 3.45 ERA is the highest of the four regional teams, but is only slightly more than that of Maryland and Old Dominion. Opposing batters are hitting .270 against the Camels. Campbell does not have a particularly good bullpen; they are anchored primarily by Ryan Thompson who has a 1.22 ERA and 17 saves this season. However, they do have a strong starting rotation comprised of three upperclassmen, all of whom have an ERA below 3.00. Campbell's .962 fielding percentage is the lowest in the regional, so defense may be a concern for them coming into the weekend.

The Camels do not have an SB Nation blog, but you can learn more about them at their official athletic site and on Twitter.

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