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Jimmies follow poll rise with sweep of Comets

Tuesday turned out to be a big day for the Jimmie baseball team.

The University of Jamestown put itself in the driver’s seat for the North Star Athletic Association championship by sweeping Mayville State 11-0 and 2-1 in 10 innings in games played 145 miles away in Redfield, S.D.

Prior to the games, the Jimmies moved within striking distance of climbing into the NAIA top 25. Their point total in voting puts them at No. 28. But the two wins over the Comets were particularly significant, putting the Jimmies (23-6 overall, 8-2 NSAA) two games ahead of the Comets (28-11, 8-4) with just six league games left.

“Those were two really big wins today. I was really proud of how the guys were able to hang in there on a difficult day to play,” UJ coach Tom Hager said. “We really pitched well, played well defensively and did what we had to do to win.

“Finding a way to win against a really good opponent isn’t easy to do, but we were able to do that today.”

The weather was better than it was in Jamestown, but at just 45 degrees and sustained 25 mph winds blowing straight in, it was not exactly pleasant. Neither team had an extra-base hit.

Jimmie pitching continued to be dominant. Five pitchers combined to allow just one run on eight hits in 17 sparkling innings. Tanner Dahl and Jason Shaw were light’s out again. Both went 6-plus innings, allowing one run combined.

“Today, with the weather conditions the way they were, you had to attack the strike zone and make the other team put the ball in play,” Hager said. “All of our guys did a great job doing that today. It was fun to watch.”

Up next for the Jimmies is a 4-game weekend set against Dakota State on Friday and Saturday in Brookings, S.D. On Monday, they host the University of Winnipeg at 2 p.m., and then play Valley City State on Tuesday. Those games are scheduled to be in Jamestown, but the Blue Jays also play here Tuesday, so the doubleheader will either be played here with an early start time, or moved to Valley City.

UJ 11, MSU 0

In a rare occurrence, all 11 runs the Jimmies got in the opener came in one inning, the top of the second.

The Jimmies had seven of their eight hits in the frame, while the Comets helped out with a pair of errors.

Dylan Lafrentz had a two-run single in the inning. Spencer Flaten had two hits and scored twice in the rally.

“They shut us down the rest of the game, but we were able to play some small ball and get some key hits in the (11-run) inning,” Hager said.

Dahl fired six shutout innings, earning his sixth win of the season in seven decisions. The sophomore from West Fargo allowed just two hits and struck out eight.

UJ 2, MSU 1, 10 innings

Shaw stretched his scoreless inning streak to 31-plus in the second game, but the Comets broke through with the game-tying run in the top of the seventh inning.

The Comets tried to rally for the lead, but Nick Smart got out of a bases loaded jam by working 1 2/3 scoreless frames with four strikeouts.

Ryan Sheeley took over in the ninth and spun two perfect innings with two strikeouts.

The Jimmies made Sheeley the winner by scoring in the top of the 10th.

Matt Achter led off with a single and was bunted to second by Nolan Skowronek. Rudy Strnad reached on an error, sending Achter to third and Erik Peterson to the plate.

Peterson had been hit twice earlier in the game by Scott Petry, but the Bismarck product delivered a game-ending single and the Jimmies a sweep.

“Petey’s so resilient. To get hit twice like he did and then step up and deliver a game-winning hit says a lot about him,” Hager said.

Both teams had just six hits. Achter had two for the Jimmies. John Pistulka and Rowdy Dove had two each for the Comets.

At Redfield, S.D.

University of Jamestown 11, Mayville State 0

MSU 000 000 0 — 0 2 2

UJ 0(11)0 000 x — 11 8 0

Alex Lotthammer, Todd Leavitt (2) and Zach Mihic, John Cahill (3). Tanner Dahl, Christian Hackworth (7) and Marcus Blackmon Jr. W—Dahl (6-1). L—Lotthammer.

University of Jamestown 2,

Mayville State 1, 10 Innings

MSU 000 000 100 0 — 1 6 2

UJ 000 001 000 1 — 2 6 1

Scott Petry and Zach Mihic. Jason Shaw, Nick Smart (7), Ryan Sheeley (9) and Nathan Christiuk. W—Sheeley (2-1). L—Petry.

Sun sports editor Dave 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