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Baseball sets records for wins, captures HCAC season crown

Dillon Lawson at bat
Senior infielder Dillon Lawson was a first-team All-HCAC selection.

It was a record-setting season for the baseball team as the Pioneers recorded their most total wins as well as most Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victories while also capturing the league’s regular season title for the first time.

Under the direction of then-interim head coach Chris Campbell ’00, Transy rose to No. 13 in the nation at one point on its way to a 29-12 overall record and a 16-6 HCAC mark. Included in the totals was a 3-2 record during a spring break trip to Florida to play in the Port Charlotte Classic.

Transy swept a doubleheader from Bluffton University in its last two conference games to clinch the regular season HCAC crown. That meant the Pioneers would host the HCAC tournament, which Transy entered as the No. 1 seed. But Manchester College defeated Transy 5-2 in the opener of the double-elimination tourney, and Anderson University ended the Pioneers’ season with a 6-4 win in the second round. That gave the Ravens the HCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship.

Campbell was voted Coach of the Year by his HCAC colleagues for his leadership during the Pioneers’ remarkable season. After the season, he was named head coach (see below).

Six Pioneers were named to the All-HCAC first team, including seniors Brian Vasse and Dillon Lawson, juniors Mitch Kuczek and Nick Moser, and sophomores Phil Blakely and Adam Wilkins.

Vasse, a third baseman, made the team for the fourth year in a row after batting .349 and driving in 37 runs. Lawson, an infielder, hit .343 with 33 RBI. Kuczek, playing outfield, led Transy in hitting with a .423 average, a new school record, and added 46 RBI. Moser, an infielder/catcher, batted .330 with 21 RBI. Playing outfield, Blakely hit .368 and drove in 41 runs, while Wilkins, a right-hander pitcher, posted a 6-1 record with a 3.34 earned run average.

Kuczek was also named to the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-Mideast Region team, as was senior right-handed relief pitcher Zach Fields, who garnered a team record nine saves that ranked him second in the nation.

Campbell named head baseball coach

Chris Campbell ’00 had the “interim” tag removed from his title when he was named Transylvania’s head baseball coach after the 2007 season.

Campbell joined the baseball staff as an assistant in 2004, helping that team to a then-record 28-11 mark, and was named interim head coach in 2006. He guided the Pioneers to their all-time best record this year at 29-12 and was named Coach of the Year by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Campbell was a four-year letterman while playing for Transy, hitting .344 as a senior team captain. The Lexington native has a B.A. degree in business administration.

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