Post 14's Jeremy Williams did his best impersonation of the Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton at Jack Brown Stadium on Tuesday, June 11.
Batting ninth in the order-just like Buxton-Williams came up a home run shy of the cycle against the Watford City Walleye in game 1 of an American Legion Baseball Class A West Division doubleheader. Williams batted 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a triple in his only three at-bats.
Post 14 cruised 13-1 in five innings via the mercy rule. Jamestown also ran away 11-1 in five innings in the nightcap, sweeping the Walleye and moving to 4-0 in the West.
"I was thinking that. One swing away," laughed Williams, after being denied a fourth at-bat to potentially complete the cycle. "I was just hitting like coach said. He said stay back and just drive it and that's what I did. I just went up and swung."
Post 14 has been zeroing in on opposing pitchers during what is now a four-game winning streak at home. Jamestown banged out 18 more hits Tuesday, and 11 of those knocks were of the extra-base variety (six doubles, five triples).
Jamestown catcher Tommy Falk went 4-for-6, with a double, a pair of triples and five RBIs on the day, shortstop Chris Erickson went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and five runs scored, and first baseman Max Anderson went 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs. Leadoff man Dawson Douty took five walks at the top of the order and scored five times.
"Hitting in practice and just being confident, I guess," Williams said. "Just going up there and saying we're going to drive one."
That kind of offensive production tends to take the pressure off the pitching. Post 14's Aaron Kleven took a no-hit shutout into the fifth before allowing a hit and run in the final frame.
Kleven struck out four Walleye. Anderson blasted a two-run triple to center in the first, Kohl Kratz connected for a two-run double in the second and Post 14 was off and rolling.
"I just got ahead, fastball outside. I didn't really need anything else," Kleven said. "Get ahead, throw strikes and make my defense do the work."
Kratz tossed game 2 for Jamestown and recorded six strikeouts to just a single walk, en route to recording the victory. The bats came alive late, spurred by run-producing triples by Falk in both the fourth and fifth frames.
Erickson also drove in a pair with a triple in the fifth, and Jamestown would later walk-off the Walleye in the frame as an error on right fielder Britton Cranston allowed Falk to score from third.
"My philosophy is hitting fixes everything," Post 14 coach Sam Joseph said. "But you know as well as I do, hitting is not always going to be there. So as we're hitting, and getting better at that, now we're going to have to fix the little things like fielding ground balls, throwing across the diamond, reading down angles and stuff like that.
"When things don't go well with hitting, those are the things you fall back on."
But, without question, extra time in the batting cage has been paying off for Post 14 in the early going.
"That's Sam just working with us," Kleven said. 'After practice, just putting in extra work anytime we can get it because we struggled in the spring to hit the ball, but now we're starting to hit pretty good with all the extra work."
Jamestown improved to 4-2 overall. A big non-division test comes to town Thursday in the form of the Class 2A Grand Forks Royals. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
"Our goal for our offense is always to put on pressure, so to do that we need to make sure to get on base," Joseph said. "We may have to bust out the small-ball stuff. We've been doing well with hitting, but we can lay down bunts and stuff like that too, and do some hit and runs. We always just want to keep putting pressure on the defense."
Jamestown 13, Watford City 1 (5 inn.)
WC 000 01 -- 1 1 1
J 343 3X -- 13 9 1
Fox Dodds and Kanyon Tschetter. Aaron Kleven and Tommy Falk. W--Kleven. L--Dodds.
Post 14 highlights: Kleven 4 SO, 1 BB; Jeremy Williams 3-3, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 R; Isaac Mimong 1-2, BB, R; Kohl Kratz 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R; Max Anderson 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R; Tommy Falk 1-2, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, R; Chris Erickson 1-2, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 R; Dawson Douty 1-1, 2B, 3 BB, RBI, 3 R.
Records: Jamestown 3-2, 3-0 West Division. Watford City 2-4, 1-3.
Jamestown 11, Watford City 1 (5 inn.)
WC 100 00 -- 1 2 3
J 001 55 -- 11 9 2
Jackson Dodds, Kimari Marsh (5) and Kanyon Tschetter. Kohl Kratz and Tommy Falk. W--Kratz. L--Dodds.
Post 14 highlights: Kratz 6 SO, 1 BB, 1-2, 2B; RBI; Aaron Kleven 1-3, 2 R; Ethan McKenney 1-3, R; Max Anderson 1-2, BB, RBI, R; Falk 3-4, 2 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R; Chris Erickson 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R; Dawson Douty 0-1, 2 BB, 2 R.
Records: Jamestown 4-2, 4-0 West Division. Watford City 2-5, 1-4.