Close-knit group: Post 14 hoping chemistry keys tournament runDanny Fischer firmly believes being successful on the diamond is directly related to having fun, something coach Shane Schoeneberg said hasn’t been happening lately for the Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Danny Fischer firmly believes being successful on the diamond is directly related to having fun, something coach Shane Schoeneberg said hasn’t been happening lately for the Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team.
“No one was having fun,” said Schoeneberg, whose team ended the regular season with nine straight losses. “It didn’t matter what the score of the game was or what inning we were in. We can’t treat it like a job. We have to be able to have some fun.”
But a new season awaits Post 14, as the Class A state tournament kicks off today in Mandan. Jamestown, seeded eighth out of nine teams, meets bottom-seeded Dickinson at 11 a.m.
Fischer, who missed five of the nine losses because of the Lions All-Star Basketball Series, said being a “close-knit group” helps the team be successful.
“When we’re off the baseball field, we all hang out,” Fischer said. “We’re really comfortable around each other. That translates to the baseball field well.”
Fischer can talk from experience. He’s playing his fifth season for Post 14, and fourth as the starting shortstop. He’s also one of the team’s top pitchers.
“He’s been the starting shortstop since I’ve taken over,” said Schoeneberg, who’s in his fourth year. “He’s pitched really well this summer. Coming into the summer, he told me he was more confident on the mound than he’s ever been. He’s got a great head on his shoulders.”
Jamestown won its own tournament the second weekend in July, going 5-0 and improving to 15-9. But the skid has dropped its overall record 15-18. Pitching from Gengler and Fischer has been a big part of Jamestown’s success, as they both have four wins on the hill. Gengler is 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA, while Fischer is 4-1 with 1.35 ERA.
“I feel really confident on the mound,” said Fischer, who is headed to Northern State (S.D.) for baseball later this month. “Knowing I don’t have the greatest stuff in the world, any way I can help the team, I guess.”
Gengler, who has a year at Northern State under his belt, gives the team a blue-collar style that aids in the small-ball effort preferred by Schoeneberg.
“Kasey’s a very hard-nosed kid,” Schoeneberg said. “It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s always gonna be competitor and grind out everything.”
Winning this weekend will be no easy feat, but Fischer said this team has a better chance than the other four he played on.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “Of any team I’ve been on, this team has the best shot of doing some damage.”
Schoeneberg said timely hitting will be key for his squad.
“If we can capitalize and turn a one- or two-run inning into a four- or five-run inning, that’ll win or lose you a ballgame,” he said.
Post 14 came back from Dickinson with a split to open the summer in early June, which ended up being one of only two league wins for the Roughriders this season. Topping off the fierce competition will be powerhouses Fargo Post 2, West Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck. All four swept Jamestown and are contending for a state championship. Minot and Williston have also played well as of late.
“There are four or five teams in this state that are the real deal,” Fischer said. “Whoever makes it out will definitely be playing the best baseball. The caliber of baseball at state right now is at a pretty high level. We know we have to be playing pretty close to perfect baseball.”
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org