ASHLAND, Va. - Randolph-Macon entered the ODAC baseball tournament ranked No. 1 in the nation in the ABCA poll and Friday the Yellow Jackets looked the part.
Randolph-Macon scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and held off Bridgewater the rest of the way to take a 17-7 victory in Friday's first game and, in the second game, the Yellow Jackets erased a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the second and then broke the game open with a six-run, fourth inning on the way to a 17-3 victory.
The Yellow Jackets won the best-of-3 series from the Eagles 2-0 and now advance to the ODAC final four, double elimination touurnament next week in Lynchburg.
The Eagles battled back from the early deficit in the opener to trim the margin to 6-4. The Eagles scored three times in the second, sparked by Brett Jones' solo homer to left to start the inning. Jacob Talley singled and Jake Bailey followed with a run-scoring double to right-center, making the score 6-2. Kevin Navedo plated a run with a sacrifice fly to pull the Eagles to within 6-3. Bridgewater tacked on an unearned run in the third to pull closer at 6-4.
The Yellow Jackets added two in the bottom of the third to lead 8-4, but a solo homer to left by Navedo in the top of the fourth trimmed the margin to 8-5.
A two-run homer by Jeff Butler stretched the Macon lead to 11-5 in the bottom of the fifth. Batten singled in a run in the top of the sixth for the Eagles and then Randolph-Macon's Reece Yeargain and Bridgewater's Chris King traded solo homers, making the score 12-7. The Yellow Jackets added one run in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the eighth to close out the first game, 17-7.
Navedo was 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the opener. Batten, King and Cameron Stanley added two hits each for the Eagles.
Bridgewater jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning of the second game. The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs before a bad-hop single to short by Talley put the Eagles on the board. Stanley followed with a hard-singgle up the middle, chasing home two runs to put the Eagles up 3-0.
The lead didn't last long as the Yellow Jackets took the lead with four runs in the top of the second. Randolph-Macon added six runs in the fourth to open up a 10-3 lead. Michael Nickles capped the fourth-inning outburtst with a grand-slam homer to right,
The Eagles finish the 2018 season with a 19-20-1 record.