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Butler, Nickles on the Money for #7 R-MC Baseball in 10-1 Win over NCWC

Jeff Butler sliding into second base
Jeff Butler

ASHLAND, Va. - Junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) was a triple away from the cycle, going 4 for 4 with two runs and three RBI, and sophomore Matthew Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) hurled seven strong innings, as the seventh-ranked Randolph-Macon baseball team downed N.C. Wesleyan 10-1 Thursday afternoon on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park.

The Yellow Jackets (18-3-1) are unbeaten in their past seven games, while the Battling Bishops (19-18) have dropped two straight.

Nickles (2-0) scattered six hits, did not walk a batter and fanned five. He tossed six scoreless innings before back-to-back doubles with two away in the seventh gave NCWC its only run.

R-MC started the scoring in the third. Butler ripped an 0-2 pitch down the left field line for a double to start the inning and moved to third when the ball was mishandled in left. With one away, Butler scored when senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) reached on a bunt single to third. Senior Joseph Tuzzolo (Newport News, Va./Menchville) singled to right and Spiers came home when the ball was mishandled right to make it 2-0.

The Yellow Jackets erupted for six in the fifth. Spiers doubled down the left field line and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Tuzzolo reached on an error, bringing home Spiers with the game's third run. Tuzzzolo scored on a base hit by sophomore Shawn Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) to make it 4-0. With one away. sophomore Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va./Caroline) walked and scored on a double by sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge). A base hit by sophomore Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C.Seneca) brought in Nickles to make it 6-0. Butler's sixth homer of the season capped the rally, pushing the advantage to 8-0.

After NCWC plated a run in the top of the seventh, R-MC completed the scoring in the bottom of the frame. Evans drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. After a free pass to sophomore Mitch Mendler (McLean, Va./Flint Hill), Spiers brought home Evans with a sacrifice fly. Mendler would score on a wild pitch, making the final 10-1.

Spiers went 3 for 5 with two runs and one RBI, while Migliorini had two hits and Evans scored twice for the Yellow Jackets.

Randolph-Macon returns to action on Sunday, April 8 with a noon ODAC doubleheader at Lynchburg. The games were originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but were moved back a day due to expected inclement weather.