APPLETON, Wis. - Senior Cole Migliorini (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) and junior Cole Grinde (Woodford, Va/Caroline) combined for six hits, four runs and seven RBI as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon baseball team defeated No. 8 Misericordia 14-6 in an elimination game Sunday morning at Fox Cities Stadium on Day 3 of the NCAA Division III World Series.
The Yellow Jackets (37-8-1) are scheduled to face No. 5 Texas-Tyler at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon. R-MC must beat the Patriots today and tomorrow to win Pool A and advance to the championship series. The Yellow Jackets got revenge against the Cougars (37-15), as MU defeated R-MC 4-2 on Friday on Day 1 of the championship.
Migliorini went 2 for 5 with a double, a homer and four RBI. Grinde had a 4-for-5 day with a double, two runs and three RBI. Sophomore Reece Yeargain (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) went 3 for 4 with a homer, two runs and three RBI for the Yellow Jackets.
The R-MC offense again started quickly. After getting five hits on Saturday, junior Jeff Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) singled with one away in the top of the first. Migliorini launched a towering home run to right, his seventh of the season, to give the Yellow Jackets an early 2-0 edge. Senior Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) walked, stole second and came home on a two-out single by Yeargain to push the lead to 3-0. The stolen base by Spiers gave him 50 for his career, the top mark in program history.
After a two-run single with two away in the bottom of the second for MU made it a one-run contest, the Yellow Jackets responded in the third. Spiers started the rally with a one-out single up the middle. With Spiers on the move, Tuzzolo hit a chopper over first for a double that drove in Spiers, making it a 4-2 contest. With two away, Grinde singled to right center to bring home Tuzzolo and extend the lead to 5-2.
MU added one in the bottom of the third and a pair of unearned runs in the fourth to tie the game at 5-5. Migliorini threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate to end the fourth.
R-MC exploded for eight runs in the top of the sixth. Grinde had a leadoff double and was sacrificed to third by sophomore Michael Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge). Sophomore Zach Evans (Fort Mill, S.C./Seneca) walked before a base hit by sophomore Ryan Duphorn (Erial, N.J./Paul VI) drove in Grinde and snapped the 5-5 deadlock. Butler was hit by a pitch to load the bases before a double by Migliorini plated two more. Spiers and Yeargain both walked to force in another run. Grinde followed with a two-run single and Nickles added a two-run triple as R-MC took a 13-5 lead in the sixth.
The Cougars tallied one in the seventh before Yeargain went deep in the eighth, his eighth of the season, to make it a 14-6 contest.
Migliorini has five RBI in the World Series and 145 for his career, the top mark in program history.
Sophomore Matthew Nickles (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge), the twin brother of Michael, earned the win by going 5.2 innings with six hits, three earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. He raised his record to 6-0.