ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) – Former Cardinal Gibbons star Noah Campbell was a jack-of-all-trades for the Carolina Mudcats – filling in at whatever position was needed.
“I played pitchers, first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field,” said Campbell.
That’s six positions. Three short of the nine positions on the ball diamond.
Why not play them all – on the same day.
Nine innings, nine positions, one player.
“It was manager Ayrault’s idea,” said Campbell. “He was like ‘hey, I had a guy do this back in the day and I want you to do.’ And I was like, ‘yeah, I pretty much played everywhere else in my life I’ve just never caught before.'”
Putting on the “Tools of Ignorance” as the catcher’s gear is famously known as.
For Campbell, he knew this would be his biggest challenge, so why not get it out of the way. It’s the first position he played Sunday.
“Honestly, I was just trying not to get hurt,” laughed Campbell. “I was just trying to catch the ball and not get hurt.”
And while Campbell struggled with a few pitches, he was able to survive that first inning.
From there Campbell moved through the infield and into the outfield with each inning.
In baseball, each position has a number.
Pitcher is number one, catcher is number two, and so forth through the infield and into the outfield with right field being position number nine.
Campbell had two balls find him, a grounder to first base, and a line drive to left field on a play that tied the game at two in the 6th inning.
No problem with those balls, but all the while Campbell was inching closer and closer to taking the mound. In a close game.
“You know I was really just thinking I’m going to have fun with it,” Campbell admitted. “It’s the last day of the season, I’ve got teammates behind me I’m just going to go out there and have fun with it.”
But Campbell had an ace up his sleeve.
Sunday would not be the first time he pitched this season.
“I had already pitched a couple of times,” said Campbell. “We were getting blown out in all three of those situations but never in a close game.”
Fortunately, the Mudcats would score three late runs to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th, where Campbell would pitch a one-two-three inning to get the save.
“Ah it was awesome,” Campbell gushed. “Once I got through catcher I was like having fun at the ballpark. It takes you back to being a kid and enjoying the game.”