Jimmies split; will be top seed
Fittingly, weather played a factor in the Jimmies’ final two regular-season games.
Still, there was plenty to feel good about for the NSAA conference champions.
“Winning a regular season conference championship was one of the goals we had. We’re proud of how we played throughout the course of our conference games and the consistency we’ve shown,” UJ head coach Tom Hager said. “But we do have other goals and things we’d like to accomplish so we have to continue to get better over the next week and be ready for the conference tournament.”
The NSAA tournament begins on Friday in Valley City. The 31-8 and top-seeded Jimmies will open against Presentation College.
UJ 8, DSU 2
Kyle Shaikoski turned in another solid performance on the mound as the Jimmies never trailed in the opener.
The senior from Fergus Falls, Minn., allowed two runs on six hits to remain unbeaten on the season at 4-0.
“He gave us another solid outing,” Hager said. “He was able to work his way out of a few jams and get deep into the game. He was solid.”
The Jimmies scored three runs in the second inning and four in the third.
Nolan Skowronek had a two-out, two-run single to score Mitch Stevens and Marcus Blackmon in the top of the second.
In the third, the Jimmies had four hits and Mitch Stevens delivered the key blow with a two-run triple that brought home Landon Uetz and Spencer Flaten.
“We were able to take advantage of some mistakes they made and get some timely hits with guys on base,” Hager said.
Spencer Flaten finished 2-for-4, scored twice, drove in a run and stole two bases. Erik Peterson added two hits, while Marcus Blackmon went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
DSU 3, UJ 0
The Jimmies hadn’t been shutout all season, but Brock Overbo accomplished the feat in the second game.
Overbo allowed just three hits in five innings. Brendan Hardaway and Ian Anderson worked the sixth and seventh.
“In the first game we were able to get guys on base and manufacture some runs, but in the second game we couldn’t do any of that,” Hager said. “You have to give their pitchers credit. They got an outstanding pitching performance from their guys.”
Dylan Lafrentz had a double, but the other two hits were singles. The Jimmies were also held to just one stolen base after running wild for seven in the opener.
“The weather conditions were tough. With the wind blowing like it was, it can make it difficult offensively and defensively,” Hager said. “Pitching-wise and defensively, we played well, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
The Blue Hawks scored twice in the first inning and knocked starter Kyle McKay out of the game, but relievers Ryan Sheeley, Christian Hackworth, Gaige Dunn and Ryan Vernon allowed just one run over the final 6 1/3 innings to keep it close.
“Our bullpen did a great job. They kept us in the game and gave us a chance,” Hager said.
The Jimmies finished NSAA play with an 11-3 record. Mayville State was second at 11-5, although the Jimmies took 3 of 4 from the Comets. Dickinson State will play in the conference tournament next weekend, but they were not eligible for the regular-season title. They will be next season when they join the league fulltime.
University of Jamestown 8, Dickinson State 2
UJ 034 100 0 — 8 10 1
DSU 010 010 0 — 2 6 2
Kyle Shaikoski, Grant Mattes (7) and Marcus Blackmon. Eric Seiler and Ryan Risse. W—Shaikoski (4-0). L—Seiler. 2B—DSU, Caleb Burgard. 3B—UJ, Mitch Stevens. SB—UJ, Rudy Strnad 2, Spencer Flaten 2, Erik Peterson, Stevens, Dylan Lafrentz.
Dickinson State 3, Jamestown 0
UJ 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
DSU 200 100 x — 3 5 1
Kyle McKay, Ryan Sheeley (2), Christian Hackworth (3), Gaige Dunn (5), Ryan Vernon (6) and Nathan Christiuk. Brock Overbo and Risse. 2B—UJ, Lafrentz. 3B—DSU, Burgard. SB—UJ, Matt Achter. DSU, Chris Mjelstad.