Jamestown High School showed off its scrappiness as a baseball team on Monday, May 20, during a West Region tournament play-in game at Jack Brown Stadium.
The seventh-seeded Blue Jays pushed across five runs on five hits against No. 10 Bismarck St. Mary's as they defeated the Saints 5-1 and advanced to the WDA baseball tournament starting Thursday at Bismarck's Municipal Ballpark.
Jamestown (13-10) opens with Bismarck Century (25-3) in the third contest of the day.
"We just seemed determined and wanted it more than them," said junior centerfielder Jeremy Williams. "We hit better than them, Dawson (Douty) threw a pretty dang good game. That really helped."
A strange play by Williams, the nine-hole hitter, helped spark a three-run second frame for the Blue Jays.
With the bases loaded, Williams grounded into a run-scoring 6-4 fielder's choice, but was found safe on the throw to first base. The Saints' first baseman overthrew to home plate, allowing Mason Walters to score on the play, while Williams advanced to third.
Jamestown increased its lead to 3-0 on the play, plating two runs off one error, while Jared Kallenbach was called out on the fielder's choice.
"I just kinda hit it, saw it went to the shortstop, so I was trying to get out of the double play," Williams explained. "So I just beat it out and read it from there. I went to second, saw (assistant coach Justin) Connell moving me forward, so I busted and tried to get there."
Douty went on to score Williams off another fielder's choice, giving the Blue Jays a commanding 4-0 lead after two innings. Despite the Saints holding an advantage in the hit column through the fourth and fifth innings, the Jays cruised from there for the four-run victory.
"That's a goal of ours is to put pressure on the defense while on the bases," Kessler said. "(St. Mary's starting pitcher) Alex Schaefbauer did a good job of keeping us off balance with the curveball. We didn't have a lot of hits and when we did have people on the bases we had to take an opportunity and be aggressive."
Kessler turned to Dawson Douty, one of his top pitchers, on Monday and the senior strung together a consistent day. Douty allowed one run, five hits and struck out seven on the day, while the only blemish was a first-pitch leadoff home run by Dain Sardelli to open the fourth frame.
"I knew Dawson would go up on the mound and compete for us," Kessler said. "The home run he gave up was about as good a situation as you can with nobody on base. He kept people off base for the most part. It all equals out and now we're off to WDA."
Jamestown, which is on a nine-game winning streak, and Century (25-3), winner of 18 straight, will put its streaks on the line Thursday starting at roughly 5 p.m. The Patriots' only three losses have come during a split with Minot, Williston and Mandan.
"We have to have good performances on the mound and no free bases," Kessler said, whose team lost 10-2 and 7-1 to Century back on May 4. "If we're clean, we can be a really good team. Our goal is to have as few free bases as we can."
Jamestown 5, Bismarck St. Mary's 1
SM 000 100 0 -- 1 5 3
JHS 130 001 X -- 5 5 0
W--Dawson Douty. L--Alex Schaefbauer.
Blue Jay highlights: Dawson Douty 2-3, RBI, 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, HR, 2 BB, 7 K; Ryder Lunzman 1-3, RBI; Tommy Falk 1-2; Mason Walters 1-3, 2B, R; Jared Kallenbach 0-2, RBI; Jeremy Williams 0-3, 2 RBI, R.
Records: Jamestown 13-10. Bismarck St. Mary's 0-21.