ASHLAND, Va. – Freshman Matthew Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) tossed seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, and junior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) belted a grand slam, as the 12th-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team blanked Virginia Wesleyan 13-0 in ODAC play Tuesday afternoon on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 21-7 overall and 10-3 in the ODAC. R-MC has won five straight and has scored at least a dozen runs in each of the past four contests. The Marlins fell to 16-14 overall and 7-6 in conference play.
Making his sixth start of the season, Nickles (3-2) scattered four hits and walked one. He faced just three over the minimum through seven, aided by a pair of double plays. Junior Cody Thompson (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) worked a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts, while junior Christian Cok (Chester, S.C./Lewisville) tossed a hitless ninth with one strikeout to preserve the shutout, the second straight for the Yellow Jacket pitching staff.
R-MC started the scoring in the bottom of the second. Junior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) had a leadoff triple to left center and scored on a base hit by senior Stuart Brown (Midlothian, Va./Trinity) to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead. After Brown was erased on a double play, junior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) homered to left, his first of the season, as R-MC extended its lead to 2-0.
The Yellow Jackets added to their total in the third. Sophomore Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) and Spiers started the inning with consecutive walks before both came home on Migliorini's second triple of the game. Migliorini scored on a groundout by Brown to give the home team a 5-0 advantage.
R-MC put up another crooked number in the fourth. Freshman Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) had a leadoff base hit, moved to second on a bunt single by freshman Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) and advanced to third on an error. Spiers launched a grand slam to left, his fourth long ball of the season, as the lead ballooned to 9-0. The Yellow Jackets have outscored their opponents 140-49 over the first four innings.
Evans had an RBI single and scored in the fifth, and Butler added a run-scoring double as it became a 12-0 contest.
Pinch-hitters manufactured the final run in the seventh as senior Blake Saathoff (Catonsville, Md./Archbishop Spalding) had a leadoff single, moved to second on a base hit by senior Jordan Schmeer (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) and came home on a single by junior Devin Strickler (York, Pa./Eastern York) to make the final 13-0.
Migliorini went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBI, while Brown also knocked in a pair. Butler and Evans both had two hits, two runs and one RBI.
Randolph-Macon returns to action on Thursday, April 13, for a 3:30 p.m. home contest against York on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.