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Campbell strikes out 12 for Pulaski08/25/2013 11:55 PM ET
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
His workday complete, Mariners pitching prospect Eddie Campbell spent his postgame interview effusively praising his team's offensive performance. He had good reason -- it's not every day a team hands their pitcher a 15-run advantage.
But even amid the offensive outburst, the Pulaski left-hander's pitching performance Sunday was worth headlines.
The 2013 15th-round Draft pick out of Virginia Tech struck out a career-high 12 batters while carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. Kingsport's Richie Rodriguez snapped his bid with a single, but the knock was the team's lone hit as Campbell (3-3) logged six stellar innings in the Mariners' 15-0 rout of the Mets.
Campbell's dozen strikeouts surpassed his previous best of 10, accomplished in his second pro start July 9 at Princeton.
The hurler has been a strikeout machine in his professional debut, fanning 66 Appalachian League hitters in 48 1/3 innings. The 21-year-old has walked just 22 and allowed two home runs, holding opponents to a .212 average.
The left-hander was spectacular out of the gate Sunday. He struck out Champ Stuart, Yeixon Ruiz and Jonathan Leroux in order to begin the game and didn't allow a baserunner until walking Michael Bernal with one out in the third.
He worked around that situation by inducing a ground-ball double play from Rodriguez.
Campbell struck out Stuart and Ruiz again as part of a 1-2-3 fourth. In the fifth, he worked around a hit by pitch by punching out Jeyckol De Leon, Pedro Perez and Amed Rosario.
In the sixth, Rodriguez's single snapped the no-hitter, but Campbell struck out Bernal and Stuart, then finished his outing by getting Ruiz to ground out to second.
"What was really working was I was able to throw [the curveball] for a strike and then I was able to throw it out of the zone and get a swing-and-miss," Campbell said. "When you show the hitter you can throw it for a strike, you're more apt to get a swing-and-miss when you throw it out of the zone."
In 2010, the Reds drafted Campbell out of Bridgewater-Raynham High School in Massachusetts in the 44th round. The hurler passed on signing, instead opting to attend Virginia Tech.
The 6-foot left-hander compiled a 5.63 ERA in 44 appearances, including 14 starts, during his three years as a Hokie. He entered college with a fastball that topped out around 89 mph and a 12-6 curveball, then added a changeup after his freshman season to better compete as a starter.
The three-pitch mix was enough to get him a chance with Seattle, and the 21-year-old has performed well in his first pro assignment. In his first two outings, he struck out 13 over eight innings without conceding a run, and he held each of his first six opponents to three or fewer runs.
Things turned south in an Aug. 8 outing at Kingsport as the Mets scored four runs on six hits over 3 2/3 innings. He then allowed four runs -- three earned -- over 2 2/3 innings against Burlington on Aug. 13, then six runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings at Bluefield on Aug. 19.
"That's baseball, that'll happen," Campbell said. "When you have big leaguers and they're playing a full season, 162 games, there are going to be starts that are tough. I've had some bad starts, and that's when you have to turn it on and work extra hard."
He had little trouble turning it back on Sunday and got plenty help from his offense. Designated hitter Jeffrey Zimmerman homered, doubled and plated five runs, while Isaiah Yates tripled and doubled and Toby DeMello added three hits, including two doubles.