WASHINGTON, Pa. - Senior James Walsh (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) allowed one run in six innings and junior Stuart Brown (Midlothian, Va./Trinity) delivered a pair of sacrifice flies as second-ranked and second-seeded Randolph-Macon fell 4-3 to top-seeded La Roche in the Championship Game of the NCAA Tournament's Mideast Regional Sunday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park.
The Yellow Jackets, under 12th-year head coach Ray Hedrick, ended their most successful season with a 35-8-1 record. R-MC set a program record for victories in a season and the senior class collected 108 wins over the past four years, the first class in program history to pass the century mark in victories. The Yellow Jackets reached the regional finals for the first time in program history.
R-MC started the scoring in the top of the second. Senior Nick Maiolo (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) had a leadoff single up the middle and moved to second on a base hit to left by senior Mitchell Keeler (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee). Senior Michael Trentham (Midlothian, Va./James River) laid down a sacrifice bunt and Brown sent a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Maiolo with the game's first run.
The Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the fourth. Senior Travis Lodge (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) had a leadoff single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on Brown's second sac fly to give R-MC a 2-0 lead.
After the Redhawks (41-10) put up a run in the bottom of the fourth, R-MC responded in the top of the fifth. With two away, senior Christian Sanderson (Lynchburg, Va./Jefferson Forest) drew a walk, moved to second when Lodge reached on an error, advanced to third on a base hit by Maiolo and scored on a walk to Keeler to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 advantage.
Walsh allowed five hits and two walks in his six innings of work. He fanned five and finished the season with 102 strikeouts. In two regional starts, Walsh pitched 15.0 innings with eight hits, one run, two walks and 20 strikeouts.
LRC erupted for three in the bottom of the seventh to take its first lead at 4-3.
Freshman Jeffrey Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) had a one-out single in the ninth, but R-MC was not able to score to extend the game.
Keeler finished with two hits and one RBI, while Maiolo had two hits and one run. Spiers also had a pair of hits for the Yellow Jackets.
Walsh, Maiolo, Lodge and Spiers were named to the All-Regional Team.