CNU Baseball Drops 11-6 Decision to No. 23 Randolph-Macon College

More news about: Christopher Newport

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- A five-run third inning proved to be the difference in a loss to 23rd-ranked Randolph-Macon College on Wednesday afternoon, as the Captains dropped an 11-6 decision to the undefeated Yellow Jackets. Christopher Newport falls to 8-4 on the season heading into an eight-game road trip while Randolph-Macon improves to 6-0. 
Six different Captains delivered RBI at-bats against Randolph-Macon to account for the six-run performance for CNU. The Yellow Jackets held off the Captains after jumping on CNU with seven runs in the first three innings.

R-MC hit four home runs in the game and added three more extra-base knocks. Christopher Newport also sent five of their ten hits for extra bases, including a home run from Craig Johnson, but managed only that one run over the final six innings. 

Rookie Gray Goodrich (1-1) took the loss after the nationally-ranked Yellow Jackets scored two runs on four hits in the first inning. The CNU freshman bounced back in the second with a quick frame, and the Captains offense briefly took the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Nicholas Baham led off with a single, followed by a walk from Johnson. After a sacrifice bunt by Nick DiNapoli, junior catcher Ryan Grubbs delivered an RBI base knock through the left side. The very next batter, second baseman Joe Cutchins, then delivered an RBI double into left center field. Jordan Mason added a sacrfice fly to plate Johnson to give CNU a 3-2 lead after two. 

In the top of the third, though, the R-MC lineup attacked again to chase Goodrich from the game. A three-run home run by Mike Nickles highlighted the 5-run effort by Randolph-Macon, which also included an RBI double by Rick Spiers. Jaret West came on in relief and got a pair of groundouts to prevent any more damage. 

Facing a 7-3 deficit, the Captains cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third when Seth Woodard doubled to lead off the inning. The two-base knock extended his hit streak to 12 games and put him in scoring position with nobody out. After a deep fly ball advanced him to third, Baham grounded out to drive in the run. The inning was extended by an outfielder's mis-cue, and Craig Johnson came in to score on a double by DiNapoli. 

Sophomore Brian Owens came on to pitch the fourth and promptly extended his streak of retired batters to 23 with a 1-2-3 inning, including a pair of strikeouts. That run, which is among the longest in program history, was halted when the first batter of the fifth inning hit a solo home run. The last streak of at least 20 batters retired in a row came in 2016 when Michael Thomas sat down 20 straight. Macon would add another run in the inning to take a 9-5 advantage. 

CNU added another run in the fifth on Johnson's solo home run. He smashed the first pitch he saw in the at-bat over the left field wall for an opposite field homer. 

Owens struck out five in 3.0 innings of work and gave way to Logan Aylor, who struck out three in 2.0 innings. Joe Burris wrapped up the ninth inning with one strikeout and two walks in his fifth straight scoreless appearance. 

The Captains will now hit the road for eight straight games, beginning with a road trip to Gallaudet University on Sunday, March 4.