APPLETON, Wis. - Junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) recorded his first collegiate 5-hit game, and junior Nick Roth (Henrico, Va./Benedictine) hurled seven solid innings as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon baseball team registered an 11-4 victory over No. 4 Oswego State in an elimination game Saturday morning on Day 2 of the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets (36-8-1) set a program record for wins in a season. R-MC will play a second elimination game on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET against the loser of the Texas-Tyler/Misericordia game. The Lakers, who made their second straight trip to Appleton, finished their season at 30-14.
Butler led the 18-hit attack for R-MC, with three singles and two doubles. He also scored four and knocked in a pair. Seniors Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) and Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) both had three hits and one RBI. Every starter for the Yellow Jackets had at least one hit.
Roth (11-1) scattered 10 hits in his seven innings. He allowed four runs with no walks and he fanned five. The Yellow Jacket defense turned four double plays, including three behind Roth.
R-MC started the scoring in the top of the first. With one away, Butler laced a double down the left field line. Butler moved to third when Migliorini reached on an infield single. Senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) hit a potential double-play ball to short. Migliorini was out at second, but an errant relay throw allows Spiers to reach second and Butler to score the game's first run. Tuzzolo drew a walk. After Spiers stole third, he scored on a base hit up the middle by sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) to extend the lead to 2-0. A single by junior Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va./Caroline) brought home Tuzzolo to make it a 3-0 contest.
The Yellow Jacket offense kept going in the second. After collecting three hits in Friday's game, sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) served an 0-2 pitch into left for a leadoff single. He was sacrificed to second by sophomore Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca). With two away, Butler singled to right to send Nickles home with the fourth run of the game for R-MC. After Butler moved to second on the throw home, he scored on a single by Migliorini to give the Yellow Jackets a 5-0 advantage.
Oswego scored one in the second and three in the third to make it a one-run game at 5-4. R-MC answered in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) drew a leadoff walk, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 72 straight games. After Duphorn moved to second on a balk, Butler lined a double down the left field line to drive in Duphorn and giving the Yellow Jackets a 6-4 edge. Butler moved to third when Spiers flew out to right and made a daring scamper home on a wild pitch to give R-MC a 7-4 advantage.
In the sixth, Butler singled to left with one away for his fourth hit of the game. With two away, he moved to second on a bunt singly by Spiers and scored on a single to right by Tuzzolo to make it 8-4. Tuzzolo drove in his 57th run on the season, tying the program record set by Jordan Walton in 2011
Nickles led off the seventh with a double, was sacrificed to third by Evans and scored on a sacrifice fly by Duphorn to give the Yellow Jackets a 9-4 advantage.
In the eighth, Tuzzolo had a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nickles to make it 10-4. Yeargain reached on an error and came home on a base hit by Evans to extend the advantage to 11-4.
The R-MC Class of 2018 has 123 victories over the past four years, the most for any class in program history.
Spiers stole third in the first, giving him 49 career steals, a program record.