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Tuzzolo Leads Offense for #7 R-MC Baseball in ODAC Sweep at LC

Joe Tuzzolo swinging the bat
Joe Tuzzolo

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) went 5 for 8 with two runs and four RBI as the seventh-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team swept an ODAC doubleheader at Lychburg on Sunday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets (20-3-1, 10-1 ODAC) took the opener 8-2 and pulled out the nightcap 7-4 over the Hornets (12-15, 5-9 ODAC). R-MC has won six straight and is unbeaten in its past nine games.

In Game 1, R-MC started the scoring in the second. Senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) had a leadoff double and came home on a base hit by Tuzzolo. A single by sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) advanced Tuzzolo to second. With two away, sophomore Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) drove in both runners with a double to left and Evans scored on a base hit by sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) to give the Yellow Jackets a 4-0 victory.

After LC put up a run in the third, R-MC answered in the fourth. Junior Grant Huckestein (Manassas, Va./Woodbridge) had a one-out single and scored on a double by Evans to make it a 5-1 game.

The Yellow Jackets expanded their lead one inning later. With two away, Yeargain doubled moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a double by sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford Va./Colonial Forge) to give the visitors a 6-1 lead.

After the Hornets added one in the sixth, R-MC concluded the scoring in the ninth. Duphorn had a leadoff single and went to second on a bunt single by junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch). Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge). A sacrifice fly by Spiers plated Duphorn and a double by Tuzzolo drove in Butler to make the final 8-2.

Evans finished with two doubles and three RBI, while Tuzzolo had two hits and two RBI.

Junior Colin Selby (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) earned the win to raise his record to 6-1. He allowed four hits and two runs in six innings with three walks and six strikeouts.

In the nightcap, R-MC kept the offense going right from the start. Butler had a leadoff walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Following a walk to Spiers, Tuzzolo doubled to drive in Butler. Spiers scored on a passed ball. Yeargain reached on an error and Tuzzolo came home on the play. Sophomore Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a double by sophomore Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va./Carolina) to give the Yellow Jackets a 4-0 lead.

The Yellow Jackets added to their advantage in the third. Tuzzolo had a leadoff single and was forced out at second when Yeargain reached on a fielder's choice. Yeargain moved to third on a single by Shawn Nickles and scored on a sacrifice fly by Grinde as R-MC went up 5-0.

LC made it a two-run game with three in the fifth before R-MC responded in the sixth. Evans reached on a one-out error. With two away, Evans moved to second when Migliorini walked. After both advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch, Spiers singled to drive in both runners, giving the Yellow Jackets a 7-3 lead. The Hornets plated one in the eighth to make it 7-4. The game was called after eight innings due to darkness.

Tuzzolo went 3 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Spiers and Grinde both knocked in a pair for the Yellow Jackets.

Junior Nick Roth (Henrico, Va./Benedictine) picked up the win, going 5.0 innings with seven hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts to raise his record to 6-0. Roth gave up his first walk of the season in his 44th inning of work.

Randolph-Macon continues ODAC play on Tuesday, hosting Virginia Wesleyan at 3:30 p.m. on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.