A split wasn't exactly what the University of Jamestown baseball team wanted over the weekend in Nebraska. But a gritty, 14-inning victory against conference-leading Concordia (Neb.) was something in which the Jimmies could hang their hat.
Concordia pitcher Dylan DuRee was unable to field a Jaden Yackley squeeze bunt with UJ's Jared Bentley on third in the top of the 14th frame Saturday, April 13, in Seward, Neb. An error charged to DuRee, with the RBI credited to Yackley as Bentley was off on contact, pushed the game-winning run across the plate to finally break up a 5-5 tie produced way back in the seventh inning.
The Jimmies' Joe Harris (4-1) picked up the 6-5 win on the mound, firing three strikeouts over two scoreless innings. Concordia (22-13, 16-2 GPAC) opened the doubleheader with a 3-2 victory over Jamestown (25-13, 14-6).
"I was really proud with how my team responded against Concordia in game 2," said UJ coach Tom Hager. "It was one of the most intense college baseball games I've ever been a part of, and probably the longest college baseball game I've ever been a part of as well."
UJ was given the opportunity in the 14th after right fielder Chase Hacker turned in a web gem to end the bottom of the 13th. Hacker threw out the Bulldogs' Wade Council at home, with senior catcher Zach Zurbrugg applying the tag, mowing down the potentially game-winning run for out No. 3.
Along with Harris, Kaleb Binstock (3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 6 SO) and Andrew Reed (1 2/3 IP, 0 ER) stepped up in relief of starter Akiya Kensaku. Kensaku pitched 6 2/3, allowing four runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.
"Our bullpen was outstanding in that game," Hager said. "To be able to have contributions from several guys was fun to watch. I was really proud of how they nailed it down at the end."
UJ's Drake Pilat, Lincoln Trujillo, Matt Meraz and Zurbrugg all pushed runners home in a five-run fifth. The Jimmies led 5-2 heading to the seventh before Concordia scored three to tie.
On Sunday in Fremont, Neb., the Jimmies split with Midland University (18-19, 11-9 GPAC), winning 10-6 before falling 4-3.
Jamestown remains three games back of Concordia for the lead in GPAC standings. Jamestown is scheduled to play a single nine-inning contest against Mayville State on Tuesday (site to be determined), before hosting Morningside (20-11, 10-7) for four games beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday at Jack Brown Stadium.
The Jimmies and the Mustangs will wrap up the four-game series in Jamestown beginning at noon on Saturday.
"To split is not what we were looking for, but we played some pretty good baseball this weekend and unfortunately we just came up on the short end of things in a couple of those games.
"We lost a couple of one-run ball games we wish we could have back, and now we just have to see how this team responds."
Concordia 3, UJ 2
Keaton Candor's RBI single in the sixth was ultimately the difference for Concordia in game 1, as the Bulldogs beat the Jimmies 3-2. Teyt Johnson opened the scoring in the fourth for the home team with a two-run single, helping the Bulldogs score three unanswered while Concordia starter Jason Munsch held UJ off the board until the seventh inning.
A Zurbrugg two-run homer in the final frame slashed the UJ deficit to one, after Trujillo singled with two outs. Binstock made the final out via a pinch-hit strikeout. Munsch posted 16 strikeouts in the contest, earning the complete game victory for the Bulldogs.
Jamestown's Dakota Nelson pitched 5 2/3, allowing three runs (one unearned) on five hits and striking out six.
UJ 10, Midland 6
Chase Hacker's three-run home run to left field in the top of the sixth welcomed Midland reliever Steven Boyd into the baseball game and lifted the Jimmies to a four-run victory.
Jamestown's Grant Okawa and Jaden Yackley began the sixth, which was tied at 5-5, with back-to-back walks off reliever Tyler Seebaum, who didn't record an out before handing the baseball over to Boyd. Hacker's bomb was his team-leading fifth of the season.
Tanner Roundy later singled in the sixth and scored from third on a Lincoln Trujillo sacrifice fly after stealing both second and third.
Trujillo recorded a two-run single in the first inning. Okawa and Hacker each produced run-scoring singles in the second.
Pilat sailed a solo home run to left in the fifth for the Jimmies. Reed (2-0) pitched the final three frames to notch the victory, allowing just one earned run on two hits.
Midland 4, UJ 3
Midland senior pitcher Daylon Owens allowed 10 hits, but limited the Jimmies to just three runs to pick up his fourth complete game of the season. Owens stuck out nine Jimmie batters, including junior Meraz for the first out in the top of the ninth inning.
A pair of infield singles by Pilat and Braxton Hewitt helped the Jimmies put runners on the corners with two outs in the final frame. But leadoff man Jaden Yackley flew out to deep right to end the game.
Roundy shouldered the loss, allowing five hits and four earned runs. A two-run double by James Kaiser in the fifth produced the final score and chased Roundy off the mound.
Binstock and Trujillo produced run-scoring hits in the first inning. An RBI single by Roundy in the third gave the Jimmies a 3-1 lead.
Concordia University 3, University of Jamestown 2
UJ 000 000 2 -- 2 4 2
CU 000 201 X -- 3 5 0
W--Jason Munsch. L--Dakota Nelson.
UJ highlights: Chase Hacker 1-2; Tanner Roundy 1-3; Lincoln Trujillo 1-3, R; Zach Zurbrugg 1-1, HR, 2 RBI, R; Dakota Nelson 5.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 6 K.
University of Jamestown 6, Concordia University 5 (14 innings)
UJ 005 000 000 000 01 -- 6 14 2
CU 101 000 300 000 00 -- 5 13 6
W--Joe Harris. L--Dylan DuRee.
UJ highlights: Matt Meraz 4-6, 2B, RBI, R; Drake Pilat 3-5. RBI; Tanner Roundy 2-7, R; Grant Okawa 2-5; Jaden Yackley 1-5, 2B, RBI, R; Lincoln Trujillo 1-4, RBI, R; Zach Zerbrugg 1-3, RBI.
Records: University of Jamestown 24-12, 13-5 GPAC. Concordia (Neb.) University 22-13, 16-2 GPAC.
University of Jamestown 10, Midland University 6
UJ 220 014 1 -- 10 12 2
MU 203 000 1 -- 6 10 1
Dru Fitz, Andrew Reed (5) and Zach Zurbrugg. James Scurto, Tyler Seebaum (6), Steven Boyd (6) and Jack Barrios. W--Reed. L--Scurto.
Highlights: UJ, Fitz 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 SO, 0 BB; Reed 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO; Chase Hacker 2-5, HR, 4 RBI; Drake Pilat 1-4, HR, RBI; Jaden Yackley 2-3, Tanner Roundy 2-5, 2B; Lincoln Trujillo 2-3, 3 RBI. MU, Scurto 10 H, 5 ER, 2 SO, 2 BB; Austin Hamilton 2-4, HR, 2 RBI; James Kaiser 3-4, HR, 2B, RBI; Brendon Jones 1-3, HR, 3 RBI.
Midland University 4, University of Jamestown 3
UJ 201 000 000 -- 3 10 1
MU 011 020 00X -- 4 5 1
Tanner Roundy, Austin Pesicka (5), Joe Harris (8) and Dirk Eymundson. Daylon Owens and Matt Abdelnour. W--Owens. L--Roundy.
Highlights: UJ, Roundy 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 SO, 5 BB, 2-4, 2B, RBI; Pesicka 3 IP, 0 H, 2 SO; Harris 1 IP, 0 H, 1 SO; Chase Hacker 2-4, 2B; Kaleb Binstock 2-3, 2B, RBI. MU, James Kaiser 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Owens 3 ER, 9 SO, 2 BB.
Records: Jamestown 25-13, 14-6 GPAC. Midland 18-19, 11-9.