Coyotes claim region contest, Blue Jays get splitFor the second straight game, Jamestown struggled retiring leadoff batters. And like the game against Dickinson, the Blue Jays found themselves on the losing end.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
For the second straight game, Jamestown struggled retiring leadoff batters.
And like the game against Dickinson, the Blue Jays found themselves on the losing end.
Williston put its leadoff batter on base in six of seven innings, and Jamestown shot itself in the foot with five errors in the Coyotes’ 8-4 victory in West Region action Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium.
“We always say when you get the first (one) out, the inning’s half over,” Jamestown coach Cory Anderson said. “We haven’t been doing that lately.”
The Jays, who won the non-region second game 5-0, have allowed 12 of 14 leadoff batters to reach base in the past two region games. Of the 12, only five came on base hits.
“If they hit their way on, they hit their way on,” Anderson said. “But you can’t put them on by hit-by-pitch or an error or something like that. … It just makes it much easier for everybody when we can get that first guy.”
Anderson said the problem lies with the team’s focus.
“Everybody’s got to be focused and ready to go as soon as the inning starts,” Anderson said. “Everybody’s got to be focused for that first pitch and that first hitter.”
Williston, on the other hand, improved in an area of the game it had previously struggled. The Coyotes, sitting at the bottom of region with a 2-9 record, haven’t been great at putting the first runner on, said coach Brad Westphal.
“That’s not something that’s happened a lot this year, going by our record,” said Westphal, whose team is 7-15 overall. “Today we hit the ball and had guys in scoring position. We need to do that, especially from now till the end of the year.”
From his leadoff spot in the order, Williston’s Jacob Brokaw proved to be the toughest out of the day, finishing 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. He also walked and was hit by a pitch.
However, Westphal pointed to starter Sam Falcon and reliever Cory Vinger as a big reason for the win. Falcon earned the win, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on nine hits. He walked two and hit one.
“The biggest thing is that we didn’t walk very many and had no errors,” Westphal said. “That’s two straight games with no errors. That’s what we needed to do.”
The Coyotes pushed a run across in the first, two in the second and broke open the game with three in the third, highlighted by Brokaw’s two-run double. They added a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Jamestown found itself behind 6-0 going into the bottom of the third, when it struck for two runs thanks to a triple from Danny Fischer and a double from Brady Anderson. Cody Benson had an RBI-single. The Jays managed two more in the sixth with Nick Fuchs and Riley Schafer posting back-to-back run-scoring singles.
Still, Jamestown left nine runners on base, though Williston stranded 10.
“What we have to do now is focus on winning innings and getting off to a better start,” Anderson said. “Get off to a better start and things take care of themselves.”
Anderson took the blame for the errors, noting the count is up to 16 in the past three games.
“(Saturday’s) loss is on the head coach,” Anderson said. “We didn’t have the right focus and didn’t have attention to detail and that’s on the head coach. Yeah, we’ve had too many errors. … But it also might be attributed to the only time we take ground balls on a grass surface is on game day.”
The Blue Jays don’t practice at Jack Brown.
“We have no home field advantage,” Anderson said. “It’s the same for everybody that comes in.”
Tyler Ukestad twirled a three-hit complete-game shutout in the second game to give the Jays a split.
Jamestown scored two in the second inning and three more in the fourth. The Jays were led by Anderson and Fischer, who each had two hits.
Williston’s Oliver Sogard suffered the loss.
Jamestown (5-6, 16-10) visits Bismarck High on Tuesday before hosting Bismarck Century on Thursday.
Williston 8, Jamestown 4
WHS 123 011 0 — 8 9 0
JHS 002 002 0 — 4 11 5
Sam Falcon, Cory Vinger (6) and Alex Haaland. Riley Schafer, Danny Fischer (7) and Joey Gebhardt.
Highlights: WHS, Jacob Brokaw 2-3, walk, HBP, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 R, Cory Vinger 3-5, R, RBI, Caden Lerbakken 2-5, 2B. JHS, Fischer 2-4, 3B, R, Brady Anderson 2-4, 2B, Tyler Ukestad 2-4.
Jamestown 5, Williston 0
WHS 000 00 — 0 3 3
JHS 020 3x — 5 7 0
Oliver Sogard and Jacob Brokaw. Tyler Ukestad and Gebhardt.
Highlights: JHS, Anderson 2-3, 2 RBI, Fischer 2-2, RBI, R, Ukestad 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com