By Jim Dixon
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Texas-Tyler scored six times with two outs in the fifth inning to erase a Randolph-Macon lead and go on to win 8-6 in the bracket one final of the 2018 NCAA D-III College World Series at neuroscience group field at Fox Cities Stadium.
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With two out, Blake Maddox's home run to left started the six run outburst and Blake Wilson's double ended it, giving the Patriots a lead they would never relinquish and sending them into the best-of-three Division III Championship Series.
|Randolph-Macon second baseman Jeff Butler dives for, and makes the catch before running into the tarp in foul territory.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
|Alexander Masotto earned the Patriots' first save of the D-III World Series.
Photo by Kylie Bridenhagen, d3photography.com
The D3CS starts on Tuesday with a doubleheader against the winner of Monday afternoon's game between Concordia-Chicago and Texas Lutheran.
"We got a taste of our own medicine today," said Randolph-Macon head coach Ray Hedrick. "We competed, we scratched and got some across in the back third of the game and going into the ninth we had a shot."
In all UTT scored seven of their eight runs with two outs.
"I can't explain it," said UT-Tyler coach Brent Porche. " It would make me more comforatable if we got some runners on with nobody out and got it done."
Randolph-Macon had runners on base for the first three innings but could not plate a runner until the third when Ryan Duphorn doubled down the right field line and scored on Cole Miglorini's double in the same spot.
Texas-Tyler broke a string of ten consecutive retired by RMC starter Cullen Moore in the fourth with a walk to Tanner Roach. A two-bagger by Alex Bishop was the Patriots' first hit of the game and evened the score to 1-1.
RMC answered the Patriots run right away with a two-run inning. With two outs, Cole Grinde walked and Michael Nickles singled to left. Both scored on Duphorn's single to right center.
With one swing in the fifth, UTT cut the lead in half as Maddox's two-out drive drove the left fielder to the fence, only to see it fly out of the ballpark. Following Maddox's blast, Henry Sanchez singled and was followed by a hit batter and walk to load the bases. This ended Moore's day and Hedrick brought in Tyler Dunn to pitch. Dunn plunked Josh Burns with his first pitch for a run and allowed a two-run single to Bishop. In came Tommy Barron for the Yellow Jackets and his second pitch was drilled just fair on the left field line, bringing in two more runs. Bowie Farris grounded out to end the inning with the Patriots ahead 7-3.
The Patriots and Yellow Jackets traded runs in the sixth inning with UTT's Roach driving in one with a safety to left and RMC's Jeff Butler with a sacrifice fly plating Cole Grinde.
RMC showed signs of life in the eighth inning. Chris Stodolka started the inning in his fourth inning of relief and ran out of gas. A hit batter and walk prompted Porche's call to the bull pen and Alexander Masotto took the mound. A wild pitch moved up the runners and Duphorn brought one run with a fly to the right fielder. Miglorini's single scored Zach Evans and the inning ended with the Patriots holding a two run lead.
Masotto ended the game for the Patriots by striking out the side.
Stodolka (2-1) earned the win after taking over for Nate Imig in the fourth inning, while Masotto got the save, his first of the season. Moore (0-1) was charged with the loss.
Duphorn for RMC and Sanchez for UTT led all hitters with three hits. Duphorn and Bishop knocked in three with Roach, Sanchez, Grinde, and Nickles scoring twice apiece.
I just want to celebrate our institution, our program, our seniors," said Hedrick. "They left our program in far better shape than they found it when they stepped on campus in 2014."
This is the first appearance for the Patriots in the College World Series final. RMC ends their season at 38-9-1.