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NUMBER ONE: Blue Jay boys ranked first in Class A poll

HOUNDS HUNT: Greyhounds looking to get back on top

Jamestown Greyhound Jake Stilwell connects with a pitch during last summer's Class AA state amateur baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Filling out a lineup card in August normally isn't a problem for Jamestown Greyhounds manager/player Danny Fischer.

Fischer and the Hounds will be in uniform Thursday at Jack Brown Stadium, part of this summer's eight-team Class AA state amateur baseball tournament. The action begins Wednesday with defending champion Cass County playing Steele at 6 p.m.

"At the beginning of the year when I shoot my text out to all the guys, they all ask when state's going to be so they can clear their calendars," Fischer said. "The switch gets flipped in August with guys getting ready for state."

The Hounds have played to 11 wins in 12 games this summer, which included winning the Enderlin Indies tournament held June 1-3 in Enderlin. The Hounds topped Beulah-Hazen 9-0 and Enderlin 4-0, before dispatching the Jamestown Merchants 6-2 in the title tilt.

"It's been a tough summer to get games, but some summers are like that with weddings, work and softball," Fischer said. "Last year we played around 20 games with state. Tolna has been great. We've played them seven or eight times."

Tolna defeated Fairview 9-2 for last year's Class A state championship. Both clubs are penciled into this week's AA tournament, as a Class A tournament didn't come together in 2018.

Jack Brown Stadium, however, played host to the first 35 and over state amatuer baseball tournament July 21-22, with the Jamestown Tarno Townies being crowned old pro champs. Enderlin, Tolna and Fairview also fielded teams for the 35 and over tournament.

"The 35 and over state tournament was a big success. All the guys who came had a great time," Fischer said. "Combining the A and AA tournaments kinda came out of necessity. The single-A weekend didn't really work out this summer."

But it has provided a full bracket of games for this week. Enderlin will play Valley City in game 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, while Jamestown will open Thursday's contests facing Fairview at 6 p.m. Tolna will play Beulah-Hazen to follow.

The Hounds will primarily field its usual cast of characters. Jamestown High School grads Jake Stilwell, Riley Schafer, Nate Soulis, Nolan Kratz, Brandon Gange and Nick Fuchs all figure to be in the mix, along with other recognizable names such as Blaze Culliton and Robbie Rocamora.

Cass County topped the Hounds 7-5 in the AA state title game last August. The outcome snapped a string of back-to-back state championships won by the Hounds.

"We like to keep it as local as we can," Fischer said. "We do have a really good group of guys playing who've all played a lot of ball together. We're looking forward to the tournament."

Class AA State Amateur Baseball Tournament

At Jack Brown Stadium

Aug. 8

Game 1: Cass County vs. Steele, 6 p.m.

Game 2: Enderlin vs. Valley City, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 9

Game 3: Jamestown Hounds vs. Fairview, 6 p.m.

Game 4: Tolna vs. Beulah-Hazen, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 10

Game 5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 6 p.m.

Game 6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 11

Game 7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 10 a.m.

Game 8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4, noon.

Game 9: Loser G7 vs. Winner G5, 2 p.m.

Game 10: Loser G8 vs. Winner G6, 4 p.m.

Aug. 12

Game 11: Winner G7 vs. Winner G9, 11 a.m.

Game 12: Winner G8 vs. Winner G10, 1 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP: Winner G11 vs. Winner G12, 3 p.m.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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