LYNCHBURG, Va. - The #4 Randolph-Macon College Baseball Team (19-16-1) held on through a fierce rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat third-seeded Emory & Henry College (15-22) by a 7-5 score in the first day of the 2012 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wasps are making their first appearance in the league postseason since 1999.
Randolph-Macon got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With two runners on and two outs, Austin Carpenter hit a single to centerfield, plating the first run of the game.
Emory & Henry tied the contest in the bottom of the third on a RBI fielder's choice by senior left fielder Brandon Lucas (Riner, Va.).
In the Yellow Jackets' half of the fourth, a two-run double by Macon Heikes and two subsequent errors on dropped fly balls gave R-MC a 5-1 advantage. The Wasps were able to close the gap to 5-3 in the bottom half of the frame on a sacrifice fly by senior right fielder Remington Hedgepeth (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and a wild pitch that scored junior centerfielder Eric Houff (Blacksburg, Va.) from third base.
Randolph-Macon added runs in the eighth and ninth innings to go up 7-3. Just when the Yellow Jackets looked like they were going to pour on runs late, the Wasps forced them to leave the bases loaded going into the bottom of the ninth.
With just three outs to score four runs, E&H began their fight back into the contest. Senior catcher Collin Metz (Cape Coral, Fla.) reached on a fielding error by the second baseman to lead off the inning, and Hedgepeth doubled to left field to put runners on second and third.
A RBI single by senior first baseman Logan Ball (Honaker, Va.) proved that there was still life in the Wasp bats and after a pair of walks, including a walk by junior designated hitter Sam Line (Inman, S.C.) that brought in a run, the score stood at 7-5.
With the bases loaded and one out, senior second baseman Josh McMillian (Amelia, Va.) hit a line drive nearly over Heikes' head at third base, but he was able to make the catch and turn a double play to end the contest.
Michael Helbig picked up the win on the mound for the Yellow Jackets, scattering seven hits and three runs over eight innings, striking out three. E&H junior Will Dingus (Powhatan, Va.) suffered the loss.
McMillian and sophomore shortstop Ricky Sowers (Blacksburg, Va.) led the Wasps with two hits apiece while senior third baseman Will Schulhof (Berryville, Va.) reached base four times on three walks and a hit by pitch.
Emory & Henry will face top-seeded and regular season champion Lynchburg College on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., at City Stadium in Lynchburg. The Wasps must defeat the Hornets in order to keep their hopes alive for their first league title.