Building Bulldogs: Cameron Campbell’s no-hitter caps solid season for Palisade

Cameron Campbell, 15, a pitcher for the Palisade Bulldogs’ 18-and-under American Legion baseball team, holds the ball he used to throw a no-hitter July 30 during a game against Steamboat Springs in the state tournament in Sterling. Palisade had a successful summer.

Palisade High School baseball player Cameron Campbell already knew the unwritten rules of a no-hitter.

There’s the obvious — not talking about the no-no in progress — but Campbell learned the hard way about switching gloves during the middle of a no-hitter.

On July 27 at the American Legion B state tournament in Sterling, Campbell was pitching his first game for the Bulldogs’ varsity. The 15-year-old had a no-hitter against Steamboat Springs entering the fifth inning with the Bulldogs ahead 15-0.

“Lane Orman asked me as I was heading out for the last inning if I wanted to use his brand-new glove,” Campbell said. “It was really nice, so I thought sure, and I took it out there. It was heavier than my original glove.

“When the first batter got up, I could tell a difference because the first two pitches were behind the batter or in the dirt.”

Campbell walked the first two batters and hit the third to load the bases. With the bases loaded and still protecting his scoreless no-hitter, Campbell worked the next batter to a full count. On the payoff pitch, Campbell threw a curveball and hit the batter in the leg, allowing Steamboat its one run of the game.

“I was pretty mad at myself,” Campbell said. “I sure know not to use someone else’s glove in a no-hitter again.”

Campbell is entering his sophomore year at Palisade and played a majority of the summer with the Bulldogs’ 16-and-under junior varsity team. To cap his season, he went with the varsity to the state tournament, and wasn’t expecting the kind of outing he had.

“My arm was sore going into the game because I’ve been playing a lot of baseball this summer,” Campbell said.

“I didn’t warm up as much as I usually do, but about the second or third inning my arm felt better than ever and I knew I was going to throw a really good game.”

Campbell said the first time he realized he was pitching a no-hitter was during the fourth inning.

“I realized it was happening in the fourth inning, but I was trying to keep my mouth shut and everyone else’s mouth shut,” Campbell said. “I didn’t want anyone to say anything and ruin it.”

Campbell had thrown no-hitters in Little League, but this one was special, because it was his first against varsity competition. He ended the game with 10 strikeouts.

“It was the greatest feeling having my first time pitching with the varsity to throw a no-hitter,” Campbell said.

The Bulldogs were eliminated from the tournament in the next game against Brush.

Campbell’s no-hitter was another memory in a meaningful summer for the Palisade baseball team. The Bulldogs lost their teammate, Gabe Hellmann, earlier in the summer and responded to his death with a 22-game winning streak.

“We played 30 or more games and practiced twice a week,” Campbell said. “Overall, we learned a lot from this summer.”


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