ASHLAND, Va. - The top-ranked and top-seeded Randolph-Macon baseball team pounded out 36 hits, including six home runs, and tallied 34 runs in sweeping eighth-seeded Bridgewater Friday afternoon in the first round of the 2018 ODAC Tournament on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.
The Yellow Jackets (31-5-1) posted wins of 17-7 and 17-3 over the Eagles (19-20-1).
R-MC advances to the second round of the ODAC Tournament next weekend in Lynchburg. The Yellow Jackets will be one of four teams playing in the double-elimination tourney. R-MC will face the winner of the #4 Shenandoah vs. #5 Hampden-Sydney series on Friday, May 11.
Sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) and junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) sparked the offense from the top of the order. Duphorn went 8 for 10 with a double, a triple, five runs and five RBI from the leadoff spot. Butler was 6 for 10 with a double, a homer, six runs and five RBI from the 2-hole.
In Game 1, the Yellow Jackets erupted for six runs in the first, capped by a three-run dinger by junior Grant Huckestein (Manassas, Va./Woodbridge), his second of the season. BC cut it to 6-4 before Huckestein and Duphorn delivered RBI singles in the third for an 8-4 advantage.
Duphorn had a run-scoring double in the fifth and Butler followed with his eighth homer of the spring to push the advantage to 11-5.
Sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) smacked his sixth homer in the sixth and senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) added an RBI double in the seventh, making it a 13-7 contest.
Tuzzolo had a two-run dinger in a four-run eighth, his 11th of the spring, to make the fial 17-7.
Huckestein went 2 for 3 with two walks, three runs ad four RBI, while Butler was 3 for 6 with three runs and three RBI.
Duphorn stole second in the third inning, breaking the program mark for stolen bases in a season with 22.
Junior Colin Selby (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) fanned 12 in 5.2 innings in picking up the win. He raised his record to 10-1.
The Eagles jumped ahead with three in the first in Game 2, but that would be the only runs they would register.
R-MC took the lead for good in the second. Duphorn had a two-run triple with two away and scored on a double by Butler. Senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) brought home Butler with a base hit, giving the Yellow Jackets a 4-3 edge.
In the fourth, senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) had a two-run single and sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) belted a grand slam to cap the six-run outburst, giving R-MC a 10-3 advantage. It was the eighth long ball of the year for Nickles.
Butler singled and scored in the fifth before sophomore Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) belted a two-run homer in the sixth off the scoreboard, his first collegiate home run, as the score grew to 14-3. Duphorn and Butler both knocked in runs in a three-run seventh, making the final 17-3.
Nickles went 3 for 5 with two doubles, a homer, four runs and four RBI. Duphorn went 5 for 6 with three runs and three RBI.
Junior Nick Roth (Henrico, Va./Benedictine) allowed three in the first, but put up zeroes over the next six innings. He walked one and struck out eight in raising his record to 9-1.
R-MC has 48 home runs on the season, the second-highest total in Division III.