LYNCHBURG, Va. - Sophomore Rick Spiers (South Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca), the tourney's Most Outstanding Player, had three hits and three RBI as second-ranked and second-seeded Randolph-Macon edged fourth-seeded Hampden-Sydney 6-5 in the ODAC Championship Game Sunday afternoon at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets (32-6-1) won their sixth ODAC crown and fourth in the past nine seasons. R-MC, under 12th-year head coach Ray Hedrick, earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is Monday, May 16, with regional play taking place May 18-22.
Junior Nic Phelps (Richmond, Va./Mills Godwin) pitched eight strong innings for the Yellow Jackets with seven hits, three unearned runs, no walks and seven strikeouts. Phelps (3-1) was named to the ODAC All-Tournament Team. Sophomore Christian Cok (Chester, S.C./Lewisville) allowed two hits and two unearned runs in the ninth with one strikeout to record his seventh save. Cok had a win and two saves in the tournament.
The Tigers (28-15) plated an unearned run in the top of the first to take the early lead. H-SC threatened to add to its lead in the fourth as John Lloyd had a leadoff double and was sacrificed to third. Jacob Fontana flew out to center and senior Christian Sanderson (Lynchburg, Va./Jefferson Forest) nailed Lloyd at the plate to end the threat.
R-MC would get on the board in the fifth. Freshman Jeffrey Butler (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) drew a leadoff walk. Spiers had a booming hit-and-run double to center field to drive home Butler as the Yellow Jackets leveled the score at 1-1. Sanderson sacrificed Butler to third and senior Travis Lodge (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) singled to left center to bring in Spiers and give R-MC a 2-1 edge.
The Tigers had a one-out single in the top of the sixth, but a lineout to junior Herminio Azor (Fairfax, Va./Robinson) turned into an inning-ending double play.
The Yellow Jackets added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Michael Trentham (Midlothian, Va./James River) had a leadoff triple to right center and scored on a double down the left field line by junior Stuart Brown (Midlothian, Va./Trinity) to give R-MC a 3-1 advantage. Azor sacrificed Brown to third before Butler reached on an infield hit and stole second to put a pair in scoring position. Spiers laced a double down the left field line to drive in Brown and Butler as the lead grew to 5-1.
The Yellow Jackets added what proved to be the winning run in the seventh. Trentham singled, stole second, moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 6-1. H-SC would tally two in the eighth and two more in the ninth to make the final 6-5.
Trentham finished with three hits and two runs, while Butler went 2 for 3 with a pair of runs for the Yellow Jackets.
ODAC All-Tournament Team
P Tom Concklin, Washington & Lee
P Nic Phelps, Randolph-Macon
C Hunter Hensley, Bridgewater
1B Travis Lodge, Randolph-Macon
2B Chadwick Feeley, Washington & Lee
SS Lee Carneal, Hampden-Sydney
3B Jacob Fontana, Hampden-Sydney
OF Michael Trentham, Randolph-Macon
OF Christian Sanderson, Randolph-Macon
OF Joe Coleman, Shenandoah
DH Dustin Wiles, Hampden-Sydney
UT/Most Outstanding Player: Rick Spiers, Randolph-Macon