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Butler, Patti Lead #6 R-MC Baseball to Sweep of St. Mary's

Jeffrey Butler swinging
Jeffrey Butler swinging

ASHLAND, Va. – Sophomore Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) reached base in his first eight plate appearances on the day and senior Jay Patti (Sparks, Md./Hereford) belted a three-run homer to highlight an eight-run third in the nightcap as the sixth-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team swept an opening-day doubleheader from St. Mary's Saturday afternoon on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.

The Yellow Jackets (2-0) took the opener 8-1 and rallied past the Seahawks (0-2) 9-3 in Game 2.

In Game 1, R-MC started the scoring in the bottom of the first as senior Blake Saathoff (Catonsville, Md./Archbishop Spalding) drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a walk to Butler, stole third and scored on a fielder's choice to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 advantage.

The Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the second as senior Herminio Azor (Fairfax, Va./Robinson) ripped a leadoff double and scored on a fielder's choice by Saathoff to give the home team a 2-0 edge.

R-MC got two-run singles from sophomore Ryan Hickman (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline) and Butler as the Yellow Jackets pushed the lead to 6-0.

After the Seahawks tallied one in the top of the fourth, Butler walked and scored in the sixth, while Saathoff singled and scored in the seventh to make the final 8-1.

Butler went 3 for 3 with two walks, two RBI and a run. Hickman and senior Stuart Brown (Midlothian, Va./Trinity) both had two hits.

Senior Nic Phelps (1-0) earned the victory, going 4.0 innings with three hits, one run, one walk and two strikeouts. Sophomore Colin Selby (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) tossed three scoreless innings with one hit, four walks and three punchouts, while junior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) worked the final two frames with one hit, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts.

SMC tallied a run in the top of the first in Game 2 before Butler walked and scored on an error in the bottom of the frame. The Seahawks plated a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third before the Yellow Jackets erupted for eight in the bottom of the third. Nine straight players reached base, with seven hits and two walks. Junior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) and Saathoff both had RBI triples and scored, while Patti's three-run bomb keyed the outburst as R-MC took a 9-3 advantage.

Butler had a walk and two hits before grounding back to the pitcher in his final plate appearance. He had five hits and three walks on the day.

Junior Cody Thompson (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) earned the win in relief, fanning six of the nine batters he faced. He allowed one hit in 2.2 innings, following freshman starter Michael Zubovich (Chantilly, Va./Freedom), who allowed five hits and three runs (one earned) in 3.0 innings with no walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore Patrick Solomita (Chesterfield, Va./Manchester) and junior Christian Cok (Chester, S.C./Lewisville) both pitched 0.2 hitless innings.

Randolph-Macon returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with a 2 p.m. home contest against Marymount on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.