Keybirds sweep Post 14Jamestown Post 14’s offense came on the front and back ends of a doubleheader against Williston on Sunday. But it was mostly zeros between the two, as Williston took a league pair from Post 14 8-3 and 4-2 on a sweltering day at Jack Brown Stadium.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown Post 14’s offense came on the front and back ends of a doubleheader against Williston on Sunday.
But it was mostly zeros between the two, as Williston took a league pair from Post 14 8-3 and 4-2 on a sweltering day at Jack Brown Stadium.
A big at-bat by Jamestown’s Ben Walz pointed to good things in the bottom of the first inning of the opener. Trailing 1-0, he drilled a bases-clearing double to the fence that gave Jamestown a 3-1 lead.
But Post 14 went the next 10 innings of the day — which lingered around 100 degrees — without scoring, finishing with a run in each of the final two innings of the second contest.
“We have to do a better job of dealing with adversity,” Jamestown coach Shane Schoeneberg said. “We’re getting away from our good approaches at the plate. I don’t know if it’s the heat or not, but it’s something we’ve got to get ironed out.”
Adversity certainly describes what Williston coach Chip Devlin will face the rest of the way. The Keybirds were 10-runned by Coon Rapids (Minn.) on Friday, lost a doubleheader by just three runs at Fargo Post 2 on Saturday and still came back to get a sweep.
Moreso, the Keybirds will be heading to the state tournament without their staff ace Cory Vinger, who also bats cleanup. Devlin said Vinger will be gone for a family affair, meaning Williston will take just three pitchers into the Class A state Legion tournament, which starts Aug. 1 in Mandan.
All three pitchers he’ll have available saw the mound against Jamestown.
“Our best player will be gone, so we’ll need to fill in the gap,” Devlin said. “We’re definitely getting better. At the beginning of the summer, we were making 8-10 errors and not getting through them. Now, we’re making less and we’re getting through them.”
Jamestown’s Kasey Gengler and Williston’s Jacob Brokaw battled it out until the Keybirds struck for three in the fifth and sixth innings thanks to a pair of two-run doubles from Vinger, who dealt Jamestown a third big blow in the second game with an RBI double.
“He’s been struggling hitting at the plate,” Devlin said. “We knew he’d come out of it some time.”
Jamestown didn’t respond and was led at the plate by Walz, who finished 2-for-3. Brady Anderson was 1-for-2 with two walks and was hit by a pitch.
Williston plated a run in the top of the first of the second game on Brokaw’s RBI single. The Keybirds maintained their lead until Jamestown tied it up in the sixth when Riley Schafer — who reached on a walk — eventually scored on Anderson’s sacrifice fly to deep center field.
But Vinger had the big hit in the seventh and Lane Huck followed with a two-run double to send three Keybirds across home plate. Jamestown’s Jake Stilwell walked to lead off the bottom half and did score, but Williston reliever Seth Falcon coaxed a game-ending double play for the save.
Jeff Beckman earned the win on the hill, combining on a two-hitter with Falcon.
Schafer bent throughout the game, allowing a total of 12 hits. He didn’t break, however, until the seventh.
Post 14 still has a shot at the No. 5 seed for state, but it has to sweep Fargo Post 2 on Wednesday. Also, Minot would have to lose out with doubleheaders against Bismarck and West Fargo remaining. In that scenario, the two would be tied and Jamestown’s sweep over Minot would serve as the tiebreaker.
Otherwise, Jamestown is sitting around the Nos. 6-8 spots with Mandan and Williston. Dickinson is locked into the ninth and final spot.
Jamestown hits the road for a doubleheader at Aberdeen, S.D., on Tuesday before hosting its regular-season finale against Fargo at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
NOTE: Post 14 is still without the services of starters Danny Fischer and Tyler Ukestad. Fischer is playing in the Lions All-Star Series, which finishes Wednesday in Fargo. Ukestad is at a national youth convention in New Orleans. Schoeneberg said he expects to have the regular lineup throughout the state tournament.
Williston 8, Jamestown 3
Williston 110 033 0 — 8 16 1
Jamestown 300 000 0 — 3 6 3
Jacob Brokaw, Caden Lerbakken (7) and Lane Huck. Kasey Gengler, Joey Gebhardt (7) and Shaun Hogan.
Highlights: W, Cory Vinger 2-4, 2 2Bs, 4 RBIs, Jacob Brokaw 3-4, 2 R, RBI, Caden Lerbakken 3-4, R, Isaac Black 3-5, R. J, Ben Walz 2-3, 2B, 3 RBIs, Brady Anderson 1-1, 2 walks, HBP.
Williston 4, Jamestown 2
Williston 100 000 3 — 4 12 1
Jamestown 000 001 1 — 2 2 2
Jeff Beckman, Seth Falcon (7) and Lane Huck. Riley Schafer and Joey Gebhardt.
W-Beckman. L-Schafer. Sv-Falcon.
Highlights: W, Black 3-4, 2 R, Caden Lerbakken 2-3, Cory Vinger 2-3, 2B, RBI, Lane Huck 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs. J, Gebhardt 1-1, walk, HBP, Nick Fucks 1-3, RBI, Anderson 0-2, RBI.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org