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Stretched: Teams begin push to win in late innings

Jamestown’s Connor Neva catches a wild throw as West Fargo’s Tony Nichols slides safely into second base Wednesday at Jack Brown Stadium.

 Peyton Walker’s arm injury has kept him out of action for nearly a month.

In his first trip to the mound since the third week of June, the Jamestown Post 14 pitcher kept West Fargo at bay for six innings Wednesday at Jack Brown Stadium.

However, the Patriots got to reliever Tanner Lunzman, leaving with a 7-2 nine-inning, nonconference win.

“I thought (Walker) did really well — he spotted the ball and changed speeds,” West Fargo coach Bill Ibach said. “We struggle against teams like that a little bit. Jamestown plays good defense and they’re gonna back a pitcher like that.”

Walker allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits and most importantly, he didn’t walk a batter, though he did hit one. He also had one strikeout.

“Peyton’s gonna throw strikes, mix speeds — he’s gonna compete for us,” Jamestown coach Shane Schoeneberg said. “He gives us a chance to win, being right around the zone with his stuff.”

Jamestown plays Fargo Post 2 today in two league games at home and ends the regular season with two nonconference games vs. Mandan, also at home. Other than the Post 2 doubleheader, Schoeneberg has made it clear he wants to see a few different guys throw.

Lunzman took the loss, only walking one batter in three innings of work. He gave up five earned runs on eight hits.

Ibach said part of that is due to the philosophy he’s stressed in the later innings.

“Our last three games have been nine, so we want to see what it’s like,” Ibach said. “Rather than going one more inning in the seventh tied 2-2, you have to hold for three more innings. That’s what we’ve been preaching the last two weeks.”

Jamestown scored its two runs in the fourth inning, when Joey Gebhardt crossed home plate on a Tyler Ukestad sacrifice fly to center, and Landon Weiser scored off Anthony Cook’s single to left field.

West Fargo tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, as Marcus Wohl scored on Noah Paper’s sacrifice to center field. The Patriots took the lead in the seventh, as Tony Nichols singled and then scored on a single from Paper. Ben Bruenjes had run-scoring base hits in both the eighth and ninth.

“Hitting hasn’t been our most consistent (facet),” Ibach said. “Our pitching and defense have been solid all year. The hitting comes and goes. We’re kind of streaky there.”

For Jamestown, the two extra innings were a test, but Post 14 didn’t fare as well.

“Games are won at state in the seven, eighth and ninth innings,” Schoeneberg said. “(West Fargo) had five runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth. That won them the game right there. We need to keep grinding out at-bats.”

Ukestad led Post 14 at the plate with two hits, in addition to his sacrifice fly.

Jamestown will send out Brian Wenzel and Joey Gebhardt to start vs. Fargo Post 2 today. The game is slated for 5:30 p.m., at Jack Brown Stadium.

West Fargo 7, Jamestown 2

West Fargo  001 010 122 — 7 13 3

Jamestown  000 200 000 — 2 5 3

Chase Gooding, Matt Barclay (8) and Ben Bruenjes. Peyton Walker, Tanner Lunzman (7) and Joey Gebhardt, Shaun Hogan (7), Gebhardt (9). W—Gooding. L—Lunzman.

Highlights: WF, Gooding 2-4, RBI, Noah Paper 2-4, R, 2 RBIs, Bruenjes 2-5, double, 2 RBIs. J, Tyler Ukestad 2-4, RBI, Anthony Cook 1-4, RBI.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached

at (701) 952-8462 or