Opinion Corner: Amateur season in full swingThe amateur baseball season is in full swing. The first of a handful of tournaments to be played in Jamestown this season is set for this weekend with the Buffalo City Classic. Six pool-play games will be played Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m., with placing games on Sunday.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun
The amateur baseball season is in full swing.
The first of a handful of tournaments to be played in Jamestown this season is set for this weekend with the Buffalo City Classic.
Six pool-play games will be played Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m., with placing games on Sunday.
The tournament will be equivalent to the teams that would normally play in the Class AA state tournament: Jamestown Tarno Townies, Fargo Mets, Fargo Jays, Tolna, New Rockford and the Central Plains Coyotes make up the field.
The Townies took a pair from New Rockford here on Sunday, 2-1 and 8-0.
The Jamestown Miller-Lite Merchants are off to a 5-4 start.
The Merchants are without slugging centerfielder Bryan Erstad, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in March playing racquetball. The normal recovery time for that injury is six months, although Erstad hopes to “shave a month off that and be ready to go in August.”
If that were the case, and I don’t think anybody would bet against an Erstad in anything involving baseball, he would be back in time for the Class AAA state tournament in August.
The new schedule for state amateur tournaments could benefit Erstad. All three of them have been pushed back about a week with the A and AA set for Aug. 8-12 and AAA Aug. 16-19 — all at Jack Brown Stadium.
Getting back to the Merchants, Erstad says their pitching is as strong as it has been in recent years with veteran ace Greg Lunski, Brandon Baumgartner and Sam Hirchert, who just finished up his career at Mayville State after starting at Jamestown College.
Hirchert led Mayville State in innings pitched (42 1/3) this season, which was nine more than teammate Nick Anderson, who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 6.
Incidentally, it was the second straight season a Dakota Athletic Conference pitcher was selected in the draft. Former Jamestown College star Alex Kreis was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 35th round last June. Kreis is pitching for the Nationals’ Class A team — the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns.
Kreis has had mixed results in the early goings, but it sure beats working for a living.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com