HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C.— Denison bowed out of the NCAA Division III South Regional after suffering a 6-1 loss to fifth-ranked Randolph-Macon on Friday at Ting Park. Denison ends the 2018 campaign as the first squad in program history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They also set a new single-season benchmark for wins (32).
Denison's two-week offensive drought continued on Friday as R-MC starting pitcher Nick Roth kept the offense silenced.
Randolph-Macon plated the first run of the game in the first when Cole Migliorini singled to center, scoring Ryan Duphorn from second. After a bunt single by Rick Spiers put runners on first and second with one out, Brackman battled back with a strikeout and a groundout to shortstop to get out of the inning.
In the second, Cole Grinde singled to right field and a walk put runners on first and second with one out. Duphorn grounded out to short but the attempted double play turn went wide of first base, allowing Grinde to score.
R-MC starter Nick Roth carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. With one out, Vince Walker reached on a throwing error by the third baseman. He moved to second on a wild pitch and after a fly out by Jake Ryder, Joseph Maydwell hit a screamer to shortstop and that throw was off the mark, allowing Walker to score from second.
DU entered the sixth without a hit but they trailed 2-1. In the top of the inning, Brackman retired Tuzzolo to start the inning and with the Reece Yeargain coming to the plate, Mike Deegan went to the bullpen and asked for rookie right-hander Taylor Perrett who got two quick outs to end the inning.
Randolph-Macon bounced back in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly that scored Michael Nickles from third. With two outs and runners on second and third, Mikey Rivera entered for the 28th time this season after working 4.0 innings the night before. He promptly struck out Spires to end the threat.
Denison's first hit of the game didn't come until the eighth inning when Jake Ryder reached on an infield single. That was erased on the next at-bat with a 6-4-3 double play. Roth's fifth strikeout of the game sent the game into the ninth. That's where Spires drove the final spike into the hearts of Big Red fans everywhere with a 3-run home run off the scoreboard in left.
Brackman suffered the hard-luck loss to drop to 6-2 while Roth improved to 10-1 for the Yellow Jackets. He went the distance to pick up R-MC's first complete game victory of the season. Randolph-Macon advances to play the winner of the Christopher Newport and the College of New Jersey on Saturday. Denison's senior class, consisting of Tanner Johnson, Jack Blanchard, Sam Frazen, Noah Hahn, Joseph Maydwell, Perley Provost and Andrew Bruss leaves Granville tied with the Class of 2006 as the winningest senior class in program history (107 games).