YORK, PA – The Randolph-Macon baseball team got a tie breaking run in the top of the seventh inning and made it stand as they downed York College 7-6 in non-conference action on Thursday afternoon in York. The Yellow Jackets improve to 7-8-1 overall while the Spartans fall to 4-8 for the year as York has now dropped three straight with all three losses coming by one run.
The Spartans fell behind early as Spartan starter Tyler Alexander walked two of the first four batters of the game. The Yellow Jackets made him pay for the walks as Tim Benjamin and Michael Helbig each had RBI singles to plate the two walks as Randolph-Macon took the 2-0 lead.
York had chances in both the first and second innings but the Green and White was unable to come up with a key hit. The Spartans finally got on the board in the third. Dustin Worthman laid down a beautiful bunt single that pitcher Jake Bram airmailed into the Spartans' bullpen down the right field line. Worthman moved to third on the error. Colin Porter then walked to put Spartans at the corners. Senior Steve Tretter hit a line drive double to right center, scoring Worthman with York's first run. Bram then buckled down and retired the next three Spartans to leave Spartans at second and third.
The teams traded runs in the fourth inning as the Yellow Jackets led 3-2. The visitors got two more runs in the fifth as another Spartan error made both runs unearned.
Randolph-Macon pushed the lead to 6-2 in the sixth courtesy of another unearned run.
The Spartans answered in a big way in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Andrew Hershey opened the frame with a walk. Worthman then hit a ground ball to first that Jordan Walton threw into Hershey's back trying to get the force for a Yellow Jacket error. After Porter hit a bullet to right for the inning's first out, Tretter hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Matt Fischgrund through the left side, plating Hershey with York's third run. A passed ball moved Worthman and Tretter up one base each and Drew Frankenfield laced a single up the middle to bring York to within one run at 6-5. After a strikeout, Colbe Herr ripped a double down the left field line, scoring Frankenfield, tying the game at six.
That set the stage for the fateful seventh inning for York. Senior KC Beshore got the first two outs of the seventh on just six pitches. Catcher Matt Musser was able to reach Beshore for a double on a 1-2 pitch to get the rally going. Second baseman Austin Carpenter singled sharply to right but Musser wouldn't be able to score, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Josh Kohn relieved Beshore and got a routine ground ball that should have ended the inning but the resulting Spartan error allowed the eventual winning run to score.
The Spartans got an unlucky in the eighth as Frankenfield singled with one out. He was then doubled up as Justin Cohen hit an absolute bullet to right field on a hit and run, making Frankenfield an easy out at first.
The Green and White had something cooking in the ninth. Herr singled up the middle to lead off the frame. Jimmy King then laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt on an 0-2 pitch and Jackets pitcher Ryan Wood overthrew first but King made an aggressive mistake as he was thrown out at second for the first out. Pinch runner Hunter Whalen had moved to third on the throwing error, as the tying run was just 90 feet from home. Wood dug down and got a strikeout and a bouncer back to him to end the Spartan threat and preserve the RMC win.
Glenn McLaughlin earned the win in relief for the Jackets. He tossed two scoreless innings as he allowed just one hit during his outing. Wood earned his first save of the season despite allowing the lead off hit. Bram tossed four innings in the start as he allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Alexander started and did not receive a decision. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing six runs, three earned, on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Alexander needed 115 pitches to navigate his outing. Beshore suffered the tough loss as he allowed one unearned run in one inning of work. He surrendered two hits as he falls to 0-1. Kohn and Brandon Ullom combined to throw the final 2.1 innings as they kept the Jackets off the board.
Helbig led the Jackets with three hits, two RBI and a run scored. Benjamin and Carpenter each added two hits for Randolph-Macon.
Tretter, Worthman, Frankenfield and Herr each had two hits for the Spartans. Tretter and Frankenfield each added two RBI and a run scored while Worthman touched home plate twice.
The Spartans finished the game with 12 runners left on base while the Yellow Jackets stranded 13.
York returns to action this weekend as they host Stevenson in a Capital Athletic Conference three-game series starting with a double header on Saturday. Game one is slated for a 1:00 pm start at Jaquet Field. The teams play a seven-inning pair of games on Saturday followed by a nine-inning game on Sunday at 1:00 pm.
Drew Frankenfield photo courtesy of Scott Guise- York College Director of Athletic Communications