Minot slips by JHS
One bad inning sunk Brian Wenzel’s gem on Saturday
Jamestown coach Kelley Kessler said runners on first and second affected Wenzel in the opener.
“You get someone on base, it changes your thinking,” Kessler said. “Our pitching for the majority of the game was spot on. He kept us in the game.”
A hit-batsman and base on balls were Wenzel’s only blemishes until Jacob Holmen ripped a ball to third base that took a wild hop off the lip of the grass and bounced into left field for Minot’s first hit. Wenzel still got out of the inning. He had a final line of seven innings pitched, two runs allowed on three hits while walking four, hitting one and striking out six.
“I told our guys that he’s getting high in pitch count and that we have to stay patient,” longtime Minot coach Pete Stenberg said. “You’re anxious for a hit, but you need to find your pitch to drive.”
Minot stayed patient in the sixth, as Chandler Jacob reached on a hit and Hunter Duttenhefer walked. Brady Lampert bunted to move the runners over and ended up reaching first safely.
With the bases loaded and none out, Grant Larson and Kolton Larson each drew a walk to plate both of Minot’s runs. Wenzel responded by recording three straight outs — a strikeout, an infield popup and flyout.
“It was a bases-loaded situation and he gave himself a chance,” Kessler said. “He regrouped. That says a lot about his mental toughness.”
Wenzel, a junior, didn’t receive much help, as Jamestown managed just three hits, two of which were infield singles.
Nate Soulis scored the Blue Jays’ only run in the third inning, when he reached on a base hit, used a Landon Weiser sacrifice to go to second, and then scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error from behind the plate down to third base.
For Jamestown, it was another good pitching and defensive effort with limited offensive help.
“We hang our hat on pitching,” Kessler said. “Our hitting will come around. We have to let it happen. We can’t get uptight about the hitting thing.”
Jacob was strong on the hill for the Magicians, surrendering just one unearned run on three hits in seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out an impressive 11 Jamestown hitters.
“His changeup was working well and so was his slider,” Stenberg said. “He threw strikes and didn’t give free bases.”
The second game saw Gebhardt hammer a double to left field, scoring Shaun Hogan and Tyler Ukestad to secure the split.
The Blue Jays trailed 3-1, but loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a Weiser walk, Hogan single and a Ukestad fielder’s choice that everybody ended up safe on. Nelson drew a bases-loaded walk to get within one, and Gebhardt followed with the game-winner.
Jamestown’s Andrew Hornung went all five innings for the win, allowing three runs — two earned — on three hits. He struck out two and did his best work with runners on, walking five and hitting one. Minot stranded nine runners.
Minot reliever Alec Rice took the loss, entering in relief of starter Dalton Cooper to start the fifth inning. The Magicians moved to 4-3 in the region and 8-8 overall.
Jamestown (3-5, 8-8) visits Mandan on Tuesday before hosting Dickinson on Thursday.
Minot 2, Jamestown 1
Minot 000 002 0 — 2 3 4
Jamestown 001 000 0 — 1 3 0
Chandler Jacob and Kolton Larson. Brian Wenzel and Joey Gebhardt. W—Jacob. L—Wenzel.
Highlights: M, Jacob 7 IP, R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 walks, 11 Ks, 1-4, run, Hunter Duttenhefer walk, run, Brady Lampert 1-3, Grant Larson 0-1, HBP, walk, RBI. J, Nate Soulis 1-3, run, LAndon Weiser 1-2, SAC, Brian Wenzel 1-3, 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 walks, HB, 6 Ks.
Jamestown 4, Minot 3
Minot 110 01 — 3 3 2
Jamestown 000 13 — 4 6 5
Dalton Cooper, Alec Rice (5) and Braden Lach. Andrew Hornung and Joey Gebhardt. W—Hornung. L—Rice.
Highlights: M, Chandler Jacob 1-3, run, walk, Alex Mack 1-3, walk, Brady Lampert 1-2, walk. J, Gebhardt 1-3, double, 2 RBIs, Landon Weiser 1-2, run, walk, Scott Nelson 1-1, 2 walks, run, RBI, Shaun Hogan 1-3, run, Tanne Lunzman 1-2, SB.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or email@example.com