Jeffersonville tops New Albany as Drew Campbell ‘drives the bus’

Jeffersonville tops New Albany as Drew Campbell ‘drives the bus’

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Jeffersonville tops New Albany as Drew Campbell ‘drives the bus’

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Drew Campbell hit a pair of home runs to lead visiting the Jeffersonville High School baseball team to an 8-2 victory over New Albany Wednesday night.

The senior center fielder broke a 1-1 tie leading off the third inning with a solo shot to right field off Chase Rudy (1-1). The lefthanded hitter added another leadoff shot off Rudy, also to right, two innings later to give the Red Devils (8-1) a two-run lead against their rivals in a matchup of two of the top Class 4-A teams in the state.

“I wasn’t hitting good the last two games, so I just came out here trying to hit the ball hard, and it worked out for me,” said Campbell, the leadoff hitter for the No. 5 team in the Class 4-A state coaches’ poll.

GALLERY | Jeffersonville vs. New Albany

But his biggest at-bat may have come in the seventh, again leading off an inning. After New Albany cut the Jeff lead to 3-2 in the previous inning thanks to an A.J. Nixon homer, Campbell laced a double to right center.

“Drew’s the kind of guy (when) he’s in the leadoff spot, he drives the bus so to speak,” said Jeff coach Derek Ellis. “So, when he goes, we kind of go with him.”

Campbell reached third base safely when Ian Ellis hit a grounder to Matt Sogge and the Bulldogs shortstop tried a throw to third. That set the stage for Joe Burke, who hit a three-run home run to center off Rudy and gave Ellis (4-0) the insurance runs he needed.

Jeff sent 10 men to the plate in the seventh, scoring five times to blow the game wide open against the No. 7 Bulldogs (9-4).

While beating their archrival may be big for the fans, coach Ellis stressed that he tends to downplay it a bit, especially since it was just a regular season game. Ian Ellis, his son, agreed.

“It shows us that tonight we were better than them, but they could still come back,” said the younger Ellis, who threw a complete game and allowed six hits, walked two and struck out nine batters over seven innings.

Rudy nearly matched Ellis for six innings despite not having his best stuff, New Albany coach Chris McIntyre said. Without good command of his breaking balls, Rudy had to rely on his fastball, and despite that, the Bulldogs only found themselves down a run going into the last inning. But the New Albany starter only lasted for one more batter after Burke’s blast.

“If we could have somehow gotten out of that inning, who knows,” McIntyre said of the seventh. “We mounted a little rally there, but it was a little too late.”

The Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Ellis got Timmie Redford to strike out swinging to end the game.

Jeffersonville (8-1) 011 010 5 – 8 11 0

New Albany (9-4) 010 001 0 – 2 6 1

WP: I. Ellis (4-0). LP: Rudy (1-1). 2B: Campbell (J), J. Ellis (J), Robinson (NA). HR: Campbell 2, Burke (J), Nixon (NA).

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