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Offense Leads #7 R-MC Baseball past #11 Methodist 17-9

Shawn Nickles batting
Shawn Nickles

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Sophomore Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) had season highs with four hits and four RBI as the seventh-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team outscored No. 11 Methodist 17-9 on Tuesday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets improved to 17-3-1, while the Monarchs fell to 22-7.

R-MC pounded out 20 hits, as seven different players had multiple hits. Sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) went 3 for 5 with three runs and two RBI, while junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) had three hits and two runs.

The R-MC offense started quickly in the first. Senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) drew a one-out walk, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville). A double by Yeargain plated Tuzzolo and a base hit by Nickles drove in Yeargain to give the visitors a 3-0 advantage.

The Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the third. Tuzzolo had a leadoff walk, went to third on a single by Yeargain and came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Nickles to make it a 4-0 contest.

R-MC would double its lead in the fourth. Butler had a one-out single and moved to second on a base hit by Migliorini. After Spiers reached on a fielder's choice, a wild pitch brought in Butler to make it 5-0. Tuzzolo drew a walk and a single by Yeargain drove in Spiers. Tuzzolo came home on a base hit by Nickles and Yeargain scored on an error as the Yellow Jackets took an 8-0 lead.

After MU struck for one in the bottom of the fourth, R-MC put up five in the fifth. Migliorini and Nickles had an RBI single, Yergain had a run-scoring groundout and two came in on an error as the Yellow Jackets took a 13-1 lead.

The Monarchs tallied three in the fifth before R-MC finished its scoring in the seventh. Sophomore Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va./Caroline) had a two-run double and sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) followed with a home run to right, his fourth of the season, to give the Yellow Jackets a 17-4 advantage. MU had five runs over the final three innings to make the final 17-9.

Sophomore Michael Zubovich (Chantilly, Va./Freedom) was the starter and winner, going 6.0 innings with seven hits, four runs, one walk and three strikeouts to earn his first victory of the season.

Randolph-Macon returns home on Thursday, April 5 for a 3:30 p.m. contest against N.C. Wesleyan on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.