All Jimmies in Lennox: UJ now 9-1 in April
Eight runs in the opener were good, but the Jimmies doubled it in the nightcap en route to a dominating sweep of Dakota State on Friday.
The bigger challenge may have been finding a place to play. Dakota State’s field in Madison, S.D., wasn’t useable. The one lined up in Brookings wasn’t either, so the two teams met in Lennox, about an hour south of Brookings.
The Jimmies, who are 9-1 in April and 25-6 overall, pounded out 24 hits on the day, winning 8-3 and 16-0. Dakota State came in with a respectable 17 wins, but the Jimmies are rolling.
“Dakota State has a good team, but we played really well today,” UJ coach Tom Hager said. “I felt like we swung the bats well all day. If you put the ball in play, good things happen and we were pretty consistent doing that today.”
The pitching was good, too, as usual. Reliever Ryan Sheeley continued his strong season with another nice outing in the opener, while senior Kyle Shaikoski fired five clean frames in Game 2.
“This was a good effort today by our guys,” Hager said. “We need to back that up with another good day (Saturday).”
The Jimmies are 10-2 in the North Star Athletic Association and closing in on the regular season title.
UJ 8, DaSU 3
The Trojans had an early lead in the opener, but it did not last long.
Trailing 1-0, the Jimmies scored five runs in the top of the third and led the rest of the way.
The 5-run rally included just two hits, but they drew three walks, had another batter plunked and Dakota State committed two errors.
“I thought we ran the bases well, and were able to take advantage of some mistakes and keep the pressure on them,” Hager said.
The top of the Jimmie lineup was all over the bases. Leadoff man Nolan Skowronek went 3-for-4 and scored three times. Rudy Strnad, in the 2-hole, was 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored.
Strnad had a huge day. He added three more hits in the nightcap.
Paul Sitkowski had three RBI, including a two-run single that made it 8-2 Jimmies in the top of the sixth inning. Landon Uetz had two hits in three at bats and an RBI. Mitch Stevens had two RBI, including a bases-loaded walk in the third inning.
Ryan Sheeley continued his stellar work in relief. The sophomore from Wahpeton took over for Kyle McKay in the third inning and went the rest of the way, allowing just one run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked just one and struck out five, earning his third win of the season.
“Sheeley was outstanding in relief,” Hager said. “He got us out of a jam in the third inning and then did what he does the rest of the game.”
UJ 16, DaSU 0
The Jimmies jumped on the Trojans for four runs in the top of the first inning in the second game and cruised. They added a five-run fifth and finished with 15 hits.
Uetz, leading the team in batting average, did nothing to hurt that with a perfect 4-for-4 outing with doubles in the fourth and fifth inning.
Strnad also whacked a double, scored three runs, had three RBI and stole a base. Matt Achter was 1-for-2 and scored three times.
Shaikoski lowered his sub-2.00 earned run average even further with five shutout innings. He allowed three hits and struck out three.
“Kyle gave us another quality outing. He’s been very consistent for us, no question about it,” Hager said.
Jeff Hamann and Scott Beever finished off the 4-hit shutout with one scoreless inning each.
The Jimmies are off Sunday, but host the University of Winnipeg on Monday at 2 p.m. The doubleheader with Valley City State has been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Jack Brown Stadium.
At Lennox, S.D.
University of Jamestown 8, Dakota State 3
UJ 005 003 0 — 8 9 0
DaSU 011 000 1 — 3 9 3
Kyle McKay, Ryan Sheeley (3) and Marcus Blackmon Jr. Austin Weber, Mike Chartier (4), Jamie Jorgenson (7) and Jordan Entrikin. W—Sheeley (3-1). L—Weber. 2B—UJ, Rudy Strnad, Landon Uetz. DaSU, Entrikin. SB—UJ, Strnad.
Jamestown 16, Dakota State 0
UJ 420 150 0 — 16 15 2
DaSU 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Kyle Shaikoski, Jeff Hamann (6), Scott Beever (7) and Blackmon, Nathan Christiuk (5). Sovich, Kortan (3), Steemken (5), Lopiparo (5) and Schlesser. W—Shaikoski (3-0). L—Sovich. 2B—UJ, Landon Uetz 2, Strnad. 3B—UJ, Blackmon. SB—UJ, Strnad, Peterson.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com