CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — At 5-foot-9 and 140 pounds, Lincoln’s Camden Brown is among the smaller pitchers in Class AA.
Over the last week, however, Brown has proven his stature has no bearing on his impact on the mound.
After throwing all six innings of the Cougars’ 13-3 win against Herbert Hoover last Saturday, Brown carried over the momentum to Thursday’s matchup against Robert C. Byrd. The senior went the distance and allowed one run on six hits to key Lincoln to a 6-1 victory over the Eagles at Staton Field.
“He kept the ball on the outer half, mixed up his pitches well and we played good defense behind him,” Lincoln coach Mark Starkey said.
Brown benefited from pitching with a lead for the entirety of his outing after the Cougars (12-7) struck for four runs in the first inning.
Brayden Arcuri drew a leadoff walk and singles by Coby Gorby and Baron Swiger followed to load the bases.
Hunter Moore delivered a two-run single to center and Pat Bart followed with a single that scored Swiger, while an error on the play allowed Moore to score the fourth and final run of the inning.
“The first inning, we had a little bit of struggle there,” RCB coach Tanner Hill said. “After that, not a whole lot happened between both teams for the rest of the game. We couldn’t get our sticks going at all today.”
The Eagles (8-10) looked to be in position to cut into their deficit after Grant Lowther led off the second with a single and moved up one base on an error on the relay in.
But Brown battled back to get three consecutive fly outs, allowing the Cougars to take their 4-0 lead into the third inning.
Lincoln had a chance to add to its advantage in the third when Jeremiah Carpenter came up with two runners in scoring position, but Tyler Stemple induced a fly out to center to end the threat.
“We got too anxious at the plate,” Starkey said. “We weren’t being as disciplined as we needed to be to hit strikes.”
RCB broke through in the fourth for its first and only run in what could have been a much bigger inning.
Lowther and Jimmy Hawkins delivered consecutive singles and Waylon Dodd drew a walk to load the bases with one out.
Ben George followed with a sharp single to left that scored Lowther, but Hawkins was thrown out at the plate as the Eagles tried to cut their deficit in half.
Brown then struck out Evan Warne with a pair of runners in scoring position to end the inning.
“I tried to get something going there and to their credit, they made plays,” Hill said. “Anything we tried just didn’t work today.”
That was the Eagles’ last major scoring threat of the contest. Brown induced a double play ball back to the mound to end the sixth and the Cougars added to their lead to put the game out of reach in the seventh.
Swiger and Moore each walked to start the inning and both scored on Bart’s single, upping the Lincoln lead to 6-1.
Bart finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and accounted for all but five of his team’s hits.
Moore drove in a pair of runs in the win, which went to Brown after he struck out three and issued three base-on-balls over a strong complete game showing.
“Our pitching has carried us all year,” Starkey said. “We’ve gotten good performances from everybody. If we put the bat on the ball a little bit better, we might be pretty good.”
Stemple suffered the loss. He allowed four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a pair of walks in four innings.
Lowther was 3-for-3 in defeat, registering half of his team’s hit total.