ASHLAND, Va. – Senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) had a two-run homer to cap a four-run fifth, and senior Cody Thompson (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) tossed four innings of scoreless relief, as the 18th-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team defeated No. 16 Alvernia 5-2 Saturday afternoon on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.
The Yellow Jackets earned their fourth win without a loss, while the Golden Wolves lost in their season opener.
Thompson and junior Nick Roth (Henrico, Va./Benedictine) combined to hold AU to two runs. Roth (2-0) worked the first five innings, scattering eight hits and allowing two runs with no walks and one strikeout. Thompson took over in the sixth and worked the final four frames, giving up three hits and one walk while fanning seven.
Each team had baserunners in the first two innings, but neither could score. R-MC finally broke through in the third. Sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch). Duphorn moved to third on a wild pitch before coming home on a long sacrifice fly to center by senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.
The Wolves would tally single runs in the fourth and fifth to pull ahead 2-1 before R-MC erupted for a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth. Duphorn had a leadoff single and advanced to second when Butler was hit by a pitch. Migliorini crushed a double to center, plating Duphorn with the tying run and moving Butler to third. Spiers sent a fly ball to center deep enough to bring in Butler with the go-ahead run and send Migliorini to third. With two away, Tuzzolo launched a homer to right, his second of the season, to give the Yellow Jackets a 5-2 advantage.
Thompson made that lead stand up in recording his second save.
The R-MC defense was superb, committing no errors and turning double plays to end the first and fourth. Sophomore right fielder Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) had a diving catch of a liner to end the top of the second and strand a runner at third.
Randolph-Macon and Alvernia will meet again on Sunday, Feb. 25 at noon on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.