Jimmies beat MSU, to play for championship
Through 25 innings, the Jimmies have yet to trail at the North Star Athletic Association/Frontier Conference tournament in Valley City.
Of course, when the pitcher allows nothing, that tends to happen.
Jason Shaw fired a sparkling four-hit shutout as 25th-ranked University of Jamestown blanked Mayville State 5-0 on Sunday to move into Monday’s championship game.
It was the fourth shutout of the season for Shaw, who is 5-0 with a sub-2.00 earned run average.
“Jason was unbelievable today. He’s been really consistent all season and when you get to send out guys like him to the mound it makes you look pretty smart as a coach,” UJ head coach Tom Hager said. “He’s a kid that really knows how to pitch. He throws a ton of strikes. He’s one of those pitchers guys really like to play behind because he gets the ball, throws strikes and attacks the hitters.”
Shaw allowed only three singles and a double. He walked none and struck out six.
“To throw that kind of a game against a team like Mayville says it all,” Hager said. “You can’t pitch much better than he did.”
The Jimmies only had six hits off Scott Petry, but the Comets were uncharacteristically sloppy with five errors.
“I thought it was key that we made them pay for some of those mistakes,” Hager said. “We didn’t waste those opportunities.”
The Jimmies first two runs were unearned.
In the sixth, consecutive doubles by Paul Sitkowski and Mitch Stevens made it 3-0.
Sitkowski went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.
“Paul’s had a really good weekend. When he’s swinging like he is, it really lengthens our lineup,” Hager said.
The Jimmies (34-8) play Mayville State at 1 p.m. today in the championship game. The Jimmies have won four of the five meetings between the two teams. The Comets would have to beat the Jimmies twice to win the tournament. The winner gets an automatic bid into nationals. The Jimmies are in good shape for an at-large bid if they were not to win. The Comets are on the bubble.
The Jimmies have outscored Presentation College, Dakota State and Mayville State 33-10 through three game at Charlie Brown Field.
“It’s been an impressive weekend up to this point, but we still have one more game to go and I know our guys are focused on coming out and finishing the job,” Hager said.
At Valley City
Jamestown 5, Mayville State 0
UJ 010 010 120 — 5 6 0
MSU 000 000 000 — 0 4 5
Jason Shaw and Marcus Blackmon Jr. Scott Petry and Zach Mihic. W—Shaw (5-0). L—Petry. 2B-UJ, Mitch Stevens, Paul Sitkowski. MSU, John Pistulka.
UJ 8, DaSU 3
A couple key pinch hits and another dazzling relief appearance by Ryan Sheeley lifted the Jimmies over Dakota State on Saturday.
Tied 3-3 after five innings, Shayne Kelly’s RBI single put the Jimmies ahead 4-3.
The lead was still just one until Mitch Stevens’ RBI triple in the top of the eighth. Dylan Lafrentz pinch hit next and doubled home Stevens for a three-run lead.
All the while, Sheeley was putting zeroes on the board.
After replacing Kyle Shaikoski in the bottom of the fifth, the sophomore from Wahpeton worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and three walks.
“When we put the ball in Ryan’s hands, we know good things are going to happen,” Hager said. “He got us out of a jam in the fifth and did what he normally does the rest of the game.”
The Trojans had tied the game at three in the bottom of the fifth.
The Jimmies pounded out 12 hits.
Paul Sitkowski went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and three runs. Nolan Skowronek had two hits and two RBI, while Stevens also had two hits and two RBI. Rudy Strnad went 2-for-3 with a triple and run scored.
University of Jamestown 8, Dakota State 3
UJ 021 001 040 — 8 12 3
DSU 000 030 000 — 3 9 1
Kyle Shaikoski, Ryan Sheeley (5) and Marcus Blackmon Jr. Seth Rockafellow, Mitch Bouchard (5), Jordan Sovich (9) and Jordan Entrikin. W—Sheeley (5-1). L—Rockafellow. 2B—UJ, Paul Sitkowski, Dylan Lafrentz. DSU, David Halstead. 3B—UJ, Rudy Strnad, Mitch Stevens.