As Campbell Cunningham has evolved from an enthusiastic freshman to an experienced senior captain, he has consistently done whatever is asked of him to help his team win.
A member of Wayne County Post 11, Cunningham graduated from Spring Creek High School earlier this summer.
In four years playing baseball at Spring Creek, Cunningham said he learned what it takes to be a high school baseball player.
“I started playing baseball around four or five years old. Just watching the boys when I was in middle school, I wanted to be like them, and then to see those boys go play for Post 11 inspired me to play high school baseball,” Cunningham said. “I had a really good high school coach. Coach Whitfield and the rest of the coaches taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know about baseball.
“I was really small going into high school, and then I had a growth spurt, and they taught all of the stuff I learned on the mound. It was a really good experience playing there.”
At Spring Creek this season, Cunningham was the Gators’ ace. In 12 games, he pitched in nine of them, had a 1.46 earned run average to go, and two complete games.
Cunningham lost his junior season to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Cunningham said it was difficult to lose a season of his favorite sport. Still, he is glad he got to have a senior season, even if it did not go quite as planned.
“We ended up playing only 12 games. We didn’t have a senior night because of rain, so it was pretty tough, but knowing I was going straight into summer ball with Post 11 kind of eased everything up,” Cunningham said. “We did what we could, and I thank all the boys at Spring Creek for battling it out with me.”
Cunningham’s experiences at Spring Creek have prepared him for playing for Wayne County Post 11 this summer.
Primarily in the bullpen, Cunningham stepped up in a big way and was the MVP of a recent game against Kinston Post 43. Wayne County was down 5-1 early in the ballgame before Wayne County stormed back to win the game 11-10 in the ninth inning.
He started the game in the outfield, pitched in relief, and had a big game at the plate where he hit a home run and got on base five times.
“Coach Pate told me a week and a half ago that I was going to hit, so every night and morning, I was going into the cages and hitting and working out, so I could show him that I can hit and get me out the bullpen for a game,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham will attend Lenoir Community College this coming Fall, but as of now, he is enjoying his playing for Post 11 and creating new friendships that will last a lifetime.
“It’s just so awesome,” Cunningham said about his Post 11 experience. “Being able to not know most of these guys, playing for the junior team last summer, and getting the opportunity to make the final cut on this team, we’re like brothers now.”