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Eagles Split Doubleheader at #10 Randolph-Macon

Luke Paczewski hits for the Eagles.

ASHLAND, Va. – Bridgewater College rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a 7-4 victory Saturday over #10 Randolph-Macon in the first game of an ODAC baseball doubleheader. The Yellow Jackets gained a split with a 14-2 victory over the Eagles in the second game.

The Yellow Jackets scored single runs in each of the first three innings to lead 3-0 before the Eagles rallied with four runs in the top of the fourth to take their first lead.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Parker Mead walked and moved around to third on a double by Chris King. Luke Paczewski's single up the middle scored both runners to cut the Yellow Jackets' lead to 3-2. Paczewski raced around to third on a double by Brett Jones and he and Jones both scored on a throwing error on the play as the Eagles took a 4-3 lead.

Randolph-Macon tied the score in the bottom half of the fourth on a single by Rick Spiers and the score remained tied until the eighth when the Eagles regained the upper hand.

King led off the eighth with a double and Paczewski followed with a run-scoring single up the middle, giving the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

Bridgewater added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Michael Morgan led off the inning with a single and a single by Jacob Grabeel put runners on the corners with no outs. Mead then grounded out to second, scoring Morgan for a 6-4 Eagles' lead. Grabeel moved to third on a wild pitch and, after an intentional walk to King, scored on a sacrifice fly by Paczewski for a 7-4 advantage.

The Bridgewater bullpen was dominant in the opener, limiting the Yellow Jackets to just one run on three hits over the final six innings. Jacob Benfield came on in the fourth and got the win with four innings of steller relief. Benfield allowed one run on three hits while walking two and striking two.

Kyle Jones worked a scoreless eighth and Sam Imeson came on to start the ninth. Imeson retired the first two batters before hitting Reece Yeargain with a pitch and then walking Michael Nickles. Kyle Hasforth was then summoned from the pen and he retired Shawn Nickles on a pop fly to second to preserve the 7-4 victory.

Paczewski led the offense, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Grabeel, Jacob Talley and King each added two hits for the Eagles.

The second game was tied 0-0 after three innings as Eagles' starter Andrew Berry cruised through the Macon lineup, retiring the first nine batters he faced, five on strikeouts.

However, things came unglued for the Eagles in the bottom of the fourth. 

Berry retired Jeff Butler on a pop fly to short for the first out of the inning before Grant Huckestein drew a walk, giving the Yellow Jackets their first base runner. Cole Migliorini was retired on a fly ball to left for the second out, but Rick Spiers kept the inning alive with an infield single, the hosts' first hit of the game. A walk to Joseph Tuzzolo loaded the bases, bringing Yeargain to the plate. Yeargain hit a routine grounder to shortstop, but the ball was misplayed for an error, allowing two runs to score. A a throwing error on the play allowed another run to score, giving Randolph-Macon a 3-0 lead. Another infield error on a grounder to second allowed Yeargain to score to make the score 4-0. Before the inning was over, the Yellow Jackets had scored seven runs, all unearned.

The Eagles got two runs back in the top of the fifth. Cameron Stanley led off with a double and Garrison Wright followed with a homer to left, trimming the deficit to 7-2.

Randolph-Macon scored seven runs over the next three innings to pull away for the 14-2 victory.

Bridgewater, now 12-8-1 overall and 2-5 in the ODAC, returns to action Tuesday when the Eagles travel to Washington and Lee.