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Butler’s Bat Helps #12 R-MC Baseball Win 6-2 at NCWC

Jeff Butler batting
Jeff Butler

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. – Junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) went 2 for 3 with a homer and four RBI to lead 12th-ranked Randolph-Macon to a 6-2 win at NC Wesleyan Thursday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets (10-2) have won four straight. The Battling Bishops dropped to 9-13.

R-MC started the scoring in the top of the third. Sophomore Daniel Wilkerson (Oxford, N.C./Kerr-Vance Academy) reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by Butler to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.

The advantage grew an inning later as senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on a base hit by sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) to give R-MC a 2-0 edge.

The Yellow Jackets doubled their lead in the fifth as sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) coaxed a one-out walk prior to Butler's fifth home run of the season as the visitors went up 4-0.

NCWC cut the deficit in half with a pair in the fifth before the Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the seventh. Sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second by Wilkerson, moved to third on an error and came home on a sacrifice fly by Butler to give R-MC a 5-2 advantage.

The Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the ninth as Duphorn reached on a two-out single, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2.

Junior Tommy Barron (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) earned the win in relief of sophomore Matthew Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge). Barron (2-0) allowed one hit and two unearned runs with two skrikeouts. Nickles hurled four scoreless innings with one hit, three walks and four strikeouts. Senior Christian Cok (Chester, S.C./Lewisville) tossed two scoreless frames with one walk and one punchout to record his second save.

Randolph-Macon returns to conference action this weekend with a home ODAC series against Guilford, with single games on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park. The John Buehler Grandstands will be dedicated at noon on Saturday.