NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) belted a three-run homer to cap a five-run third as the 16th-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team outscored No. 20 Christopher Newport 11-6 on Wednesday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets (6-0) rose to No. 16 in the Perfect Game poll, which was released earlier in the day. The Captains (8-4) climbed to No. 20 in the poll. Click here to view entire poll.
Nickles had one of four homers for R-MC. Sophomore Reece Yeargain (Chester, Va./Benedictine), sophomore Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) and senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) all went deep. Yeargain had three hits and two runs, while Tuzzolo scored twice and knocked in a pair.
R-MC started the scoring in the top of the first. Junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) doubled down the right field line and scored on a base hit by senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge). Senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) singled to move Migliorini to second and he advanced to third on a single by Shawn Nickles. Tuzzolo grounded out to first to plate Migliorini, giving the Yellow Jackets a 2-0 advantage.
After CNU scored three in the second, R-MC erupted for five in the third. Migliorini had a leadoff single and scored on a double by Spiers. Following a groundout, Spiers came home on a passed ball as the Yellow Jackets went up 4-3. Tuzzolo walked and Yeargain singled before Michael Nickles belted a homer to left, his first of the season, as R-MC jumped ahead 7-3.
The Captains put up two in the bottom of the third before The Yellow Jackets answered in the top of the fifth. Yeargain yanked a leadoff homer to left center, his first dinger of the season, to make it 8-5. With two away, sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) walked, stole second and scored on a base hit by Butler to extend the lead to 9-5.
CNU tallied its final run in the bottom of the fifth. Shawn Nickles and Tuzzolo had back-to-back homers to start the ninth, the third of the season for each, making the final 11-6.
R-MC had a season-high 15 hits and matched its season bests with four homers and 11 runs.
Sophomore Tyler Dunn (Salisbury, Md./James M. Bennett) earned his first collegiate victory, pitching 2.1 innings of relief with three hits, one run, no walks and three strikeouts to go to 1-0 on the season.
Randolph-Macon returns to action this weekend with a three-game home series with Rowan. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 3 at noon, followed by a single game on Sunday, March 4 at noon.