It's possible Lincoln Trujillo was only scratching the surface for the University of Jamestown baseball team last spring.
The right-handed power bat from Cheyenne, Wyoming, launched grand slams in Great Plains Athletic Conference victories over Mount Marty College and Morningside, en route to six homers and 31 RBIs in 43 games for the 35-win Jimmies. Trujillo was back mashing the baseball at Jack Brown Stadium on Wednesday night.
The senior first baseman uncorked both a solo home run and a three-run shot against rival Valley City State University, part of a five-homer attack unleashed on the Vikings in a 13-5 Jimmies win. Trujillo batted 3-for-3 with four runs driven in and four runs scored, helping Jamestown open fall baseball at 1-0.
"I've been waiting for this moment all summer," said Trujillo, who transferred in last season from Western Nebraska Community College. "I was ready for it and I took advantage of it. I'm ready to get going."
Trujillo's solo shot in the third off VCSU starter Jesse Johnson tied the game at 2-2, and his three-run blast off the fifth pitched tossed by William Hlady was part of a five-run UJ fifth that tilted the tide. The Jimmies broke the game open in the sixth with a Ben Pedigo three-run homer to left, which immediately followed Trujillo getting struck by a pitch thrown by VCSU's Tyler Kliniske.
UJ sophomore catcher Dirk Eymunsdon and senior right fielder Chase Hacker connected for solo homers in the fourth and seventh frames, respectively.
"We knew what group we had here," Trujillo said. "We've been seeing it all fall."
So has UJ veteran coach Tom Hager, who in his 21st season guiding the Jimmies improved to 690-289-3.
"We swung the bats well tonight and we were able to do that from beginning to end," Hager said. "That's what good teams do. I was also proud of how our pitchers settled in."
UJ senior Andy Reed started on the mound and allowed three earned runs through 3 1/3 with a pair of strikeouts before the ball was handed over to freshman Mitchell Dennis and seniors Aaron Pugh and Austin Pesicka. Dennis fanned four, while Pesicka recorded two strikeouts in the ninth.
"Andy gave up a couple runs in the first but was able to give us a decent outing, and then our bullpen did a fantastic job," Hager said.
Jamestown's eight-game fall schedule continues Sept. 17 at Mayville State University (0-0). The Jimmies host Mayville State on Sept. 24.
"We're feeling great," Trujillo said. "Gotta love the game and enjoy it while we can. We're gonna roll this fall. I feel it, so I'm excited."
Jamestown 13, Valley City State 5
VC 200 111 000 -- 5 11 1
UJ 011 503 12X -- 13 13 1
Jesse Johnson, Marcus Niemann (4), William Hlady (4), Grant Bangen (6), Tyler Kliniske (6), Jacob Miller (7), Chase Feller (8) and Alejandro Gutierrez. Andy Reed, Mitchell Dennis (4), Aaron Pugh (7), Austin Pesicka (9) and Dirk Eymundson.
VC highlights: Chase Fell 3-5, RBI; David Demeter 2-5; Johnson 3 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 1 BB; Niemann 0.1 IP, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 ER.
UJ highlights: Lincoln Trujillo 3-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, BB; Eymundson 2-3, HR, RBI; Pen Pedigo 2-3, HR, 3 RBI; Chase Hacker 2-2, HR, 2 RBI; BB; Reed 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO; Pugh 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO; Dennis 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO; Pesicka 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
Records: Jamestown 1-0. Valley City State 0-1.