Harrington reacts to a strikeout in Campbell’s regional win Friday. Photo: Campbell University Athletics

A day after learning he was named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Sanford native and Southern Lee graduate Thomas Harrington kept one of the nation’s best offenses at bay in Campbell University’s 15-8 win over Georgia Tech in the first game of the Knoxville Regional in Tennessee today.

Harrington gave up 5 earned runs on 9 hits in seven innings while protecting a big lead for much of the game to earn his NCAA-leading 12th win of the season. Georgia Tech came in ranked second in the nation in batting average (.324) and fourth in hits. The Yellow Jackets also ranked fourth in scoring, fifth in slugging and runs and eighth in home runs.

The Big South Pitcher of the Year in just his sophomore season, Harrington finished the regular season and Big South tournament 11-2 with a 2.21 ERA, third best among pitchers in the nation with at least 70 innings thrown. He set the program’s record for single-season strikeouts (109) and now holds the program record for single-season wins (12), having done so in four fewer starts.

He was named a freshman all-American by the publication in 2021.

His teammates pounded out 18 hits and 10 extra base hits in the win.

The regional opener, hosted by the nation’s top team, Tennessee, featured a fun Sanford connection. Georgia Tech’s pitching coach is Danny Borrell, former New York Yankees pitcher who would later become the youngest pitching coordinator in Major League Baseball when he was hired by the Yankees in 2015.

Borrell, who pitched collegiately for Wake Forest, led Lee County High School to the state baseball championship in 1996.

Making a surprise appearance during the ESPN+ broadcast was Harrington’s father, Tommy Harrington, who wore a “babyface” mask in the stands, attracting the ESPN cameras several times. Harrington wore the mask during the Big South Tournament as well — though no reason has been given yet (perhaps it’s his son’s babyfaced appearance?).

Campbell will face the winner of No. 1 Tennessee and Alabama State on Saturday, at 7 p.m. The Fighting Camels (41-17) earned an automatic bid after winning the Big South Tournament.