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Butler Sets Career Marks for Hits & Runs as #13 R-MC Baseball Tops WPU 16-5

Jeff Butler batting
Jeff Butler (photo by Frank Straus)

ASHLAND, Va. - Senior second baseman Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) broke program records for career hits and runs as the 13th-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team defeated William Peace 16-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

The Basics

Score: #13 Randolph-Macon 16, William Peace 5

Location/Venue: Ashland, Va./Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park

Records: R-MC 15-6-1. WPU 9-21

How It Happened

  • The Yellow Jackets started the scoring in the second. Junior catcher Reece Yeargain (Chester, Va./Benedictine) drew a leadoff walk and moved to second when junior outfielder Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) was hit by a pitch. With one away, junior first baseman Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va./Caroline) drew a walk to load the bases. Junior shortstop Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) ripped a double down the left field line to plate Yeargain and Nickles, and Grinde scored on a sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Matthew Blaise (Clifton, Va./Centreville) as the home team took an early 3-0 lead.
  • In the third, Butler was plunked to start the inning and junior third baseman Mike Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) walked to move Butler to second. Both runners moved up 90 feet on an error. Butler scored on a wild pitch and Nickles came home on a groundout to make it 5-0. Blaise had a two-run single later in the frame as R-MC took a 7-0 advantage.
  • The Pacers put up three in the fourth and one in the fifth to make it 7-4 before the Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the fifth. Grinde had a one-out double and scored on a two-bagger by Evans. Another double by junior outfielder Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) brought in Evans as R-MC went up 9-4.
  • WPU tallied its final run in the sixth before the Yellow Jackets scored in each of their final two at-bats. Butler and Mike Nickles had RBI singles in the seventh to make it 11-5.
  • R-MC tallied its final five runs in the eighth. Freshman JT Fitzpatrick (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and sophomore Jack Basse (Fairfax Station, Va./South County) delivered an RBI single to cap the rally and make the final 16-5.

By The Numbers

  • Butler went 2 for 4 with three runs and one RBI. He had 216 career hits, passing the mark of 215 by Jordan Walton. Butler raised his career runs total to 148, breaking a tie with Jeb Weymouth. Earlier this season, Butler set program records for career steals and career at-bats.
  • Grinde reached base five times, going 2 for 2 with a double, two walks and one hit by pitch. Grinde scored four times.
  • Evans and Blaise both knocked in three, while Mike Nickles drove in two. Evans had a pair of doubles.
  • Duphorn went 3 for 6 with a double, two runs, one RBI and one steal.
  • Junior right-hander Matt Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) was the starter and winner, going 4.0 innings with three hits, three runs, three walks and four strikeouts to raise his record to 1-3.
  • Three relievers worked scoreless innings. Sophomore right-hander Bryan Diehr (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) gave up a bloop single to start the seventh, but induced a double play and struck out the final hitter. Freshman lefty Jacob Smither (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) retired WPU in order in the eighth with one strikeout. Sophomore right-hander James Womack (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) set the Pacers down in order in the ninth with one punchout.

Up Next

  • Randolph-Macon will travel to Roanoke on Saturday, April 13 for a 3 p.m. ODAC doubleheader.