(photos by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com)
APPLETON, Wis. - Sophomore outfielder Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) and sophomore third baseman Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) combined to reach base nine times and combined for seven hits as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon baseball team fell 4-2 to No. 8 Misericordia Friday afternoon on Day 1 of the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. in front of 1.092 fans at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets (35-8-1) will face No. 4 Oswego State on Saturday at 11 am ET in an elimination game. The Cougars (37-13) will meet No. 5 Texas Tyler in the day's second contest.
Duphorn went 4 for 4 with a double, a walk and a stolen base. He went 4 for 4 leading off innings. Duphorn has reached base safely in 71 consecutive games. He has 23 stolen bases this season, the top mark in the ODAC and a program record. Nickles went 3 for 4, reached on an error, stole a base and scored a run.
R-MC had base runners in every inning, but went 1 for 17 with runners in scoring position. The Yellow Jackets stranded 14, including 10 in scoring position.
The Cougars plated two in the third, with one being unearned They added single runs in the sixth and eighth.
R-MC avoided the shutout in the eighth. Nickles (left) reached on a throwing error with two away, advanced to second on a balk and scored on a base hit to left by sophomore shortstop Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) to make it 4-1.
The Yellow Jackets kept the pressure on in the ninth. Senior outfielders Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) and Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) has consecutive singles to start the frame. Senior first baseman Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) hit a ball to third. The throw went to second and Spiers was called out on a very close play. Sophomore catcher Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) followed with a roller to short that drove in Migliorini with the second R-MC run. A groundout to first would end the contest.
Junior All-American Colin Selby (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) hurled a solid seven innings for the Yellow Jackets with eight hits, three runs, two earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts. He raised his Division III-leading strikeout total to 126, a program record. Selby had three pickoffs at first base.
Spiers had a steal in the third inning to give him 48 career stolen bases, a program record.
Click here to view postgame press conference (MU first, R-MC second)