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Pitching depth carries Jimmies to road sweep

With a busy close to the season coming, pitching depth will be key for North Star Athletic Association teams.

The Jimmies appear to have it in spades.

Coach Tom Hager declared Wednesday’s doubleheader in Mitchell, S.D., against Dakota Wesleyan a “staffer” day, meaning several pitchers would be used. Nearly all delivered as the Jimmies swept the Tigers 5-2 and 7-3 for their 19th and 20th wins of the season. Eight of the 11 pitchers used did not allow an earned run.

“I was really proud of our staffers today. They attacked the strike zone and it was fun to watch,” Hager said. “We had a few guys that haven’t thrown in a while and I’ve been impressed with how they’ve stayed ready. It showed with how they threw the ball today. They were very effective.”

The Jimmies improved to 20-5 overall and have Mayville State coming in Saturday and Sunday for key NSAA doubleheaders.

UJ 5, DWU 2

The Jimmies scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break a 2-all tie in Game 1.

An error started the rally then Nolan Skowronek tripled home Dylan Lafrentz with the go-ahead run. Erik Peterson, who hit a solo home run in the top of the first, singled in Skowronek for a 2-run lead. Mitch Stevens made it 5-2 with an RBI single for the final run.

Rudy Strnad went 3-for-3. Peterson and Stevens added two hits each. The Jimmies had two triples. Paul Sitkowski opened the second with a 3-bagger then scored on a sac-fly by Spencer Flaten.

“We really had to scrape to score runs today,” Hager said. “We were able to put the ball in play and get some key hits when we needed them.”

The Jimmies used six pitchers in the game with Grant Mattes working a clean sixth for the win and Ryan Vernon working a 1-2-3 seventh to earn the save.

UJ 7, DWU 3

Ben Mortenson and Jeffery Hamann each worked two innings in the second game, while Scott Beever made his debut and fanned the Tigers (16-16) in the bottom of the seventh to polish off the sweep. Beever needed just 12 pitches to get through the frame.

Marcus Blackmon Jr. delivered a two-run single in the top of the second for the game’s first runs. They tacked on two more in the third with Stevens registering another RBI with a single.

Sitkowski and Landon Uetz had run-scoring singles in the top of the fourth inning for their final runs of the day.

Uetz went a perfect 3-for-3 as the designated hitter out of the 5-hole in the lineup. Sitkowski was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Spencer Flaten stole a base in each game, giving the West Fargo product 15 in 16 attempts.

“(Dakota Wesleyan) is a solid club. I liked how we played today,” Hager said.

University of Jamestown 5,                                 Dakota Wesleyan 2

UJ  110 000 3 — 5 10 0

DWU  100 100 0 — 2 6 1

Kyle McKay, Darren Iseri (2), Christian Hackworth (4), Gaige Dunn (5), Grant Mattes (6), Ryan Vernon (7) and Nathan Christiuk. Whetham, Snyder (6), Lutgen (7) and Bommersbach. W—Mattes (2-0). L—Snyder. Save—Vernon (1). 2B—UJ, Rudy Strnad. 3B—UJ, Paul Sitkowski, Nolan Skowronek. HR—UJ, Erik Peterson (1). DWU, Ladner. SB—UJ, Spencer Flaten. DWU, Ladner.

Jamestown 7, Dakota Wesleyan 3

UJ 022 300 0 — 7 9 2 

DWU 001 002 0 — 3 5 3

Kyle Shaikoski, Ben Mortenson (2), Jeffery Hamann (5), Brendan Ethier (6), Scott Beever (7) and Marcus Blackmon Jr. Dean, Meyer (3), Sommerville (4), Grant (5), Risse (7) and Katz. W—Mortenson (1-0). L—Dean. 2B—UJ, Dylan Lafrentz. DWU, Wenande, Katz. 3B—DWU, Spitznagel, Wenande. SB—UJ, Skowronek, Peterson, Flaten.

Sun sports editor David Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460