VALLEY CITY -- Losing a one-run game at the state tournament stings. It hits a little harder for those wearing jerseys for a final time.
With Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Fargo Post 2 Jets at Charlie Brown Field, the Senior Babe Ruth Class A state baseball tournament came to an end for the Jamestown Eagles. It also closed the book on the American Legion baseball careers for 2020 Jamestown High School seniors Tommy Falk, Max Anderson, Jeremy Williams, Chris Erickson, Isaac Mimong and Seth Weber.
"We made a few too many mistakes today and we didn't get that timely hit," said Falk, whose fly out to center on the 100th pitch thrown by Fargo starting pitcher Mitch Runcorn with the bases empty ended the game. "Stuff didn't go in our favor and that's baseball."
Jamestown stranded seven runners against the Jets, only managing to string two hits together one time against the stingy Runcon, who allowed five total hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Runcon sat down the Eagles 1-2-3 in both the fourth and the seventh, giving up single runs in the third and the fifth.
The Jets moved one step closer to the title game and will play Valley City on Friday at 5 p.m.
"That's always the plan. You want a guy to go out and throw strikes and just hit his spots," said Fargo Jets coach Mike Boutain. "(Runcon) mixed speeds really well and he was locating really well."
The Eagles never led, falling behind 1-0 in the first when Fargo's Calvin Clasen singled and later scored from third on a wild pitch thrown by Jamestown starter Nolan Nenow. Falk tied the game in the third, hitting into a 6-5 fielder's choice with runners on second and third and pushing home pinch-runner Jakob Schempp from 90 feet away.
But after Nenow got through Fargo's lineup twice, the Jets found just enough success in the top of the fifth against left-handed reliever Mason Lunzman and the Eagles to turn the tide.
Chase Hansen singled to start the frame, resetting Fargo's batting order where top-half bats Clasen and Dylan Erholtz produced RBI singles. Williams scored Jamestown's final run in the fifth, singling with two outs, advancing on Hoyt's second single of the game, and crossing the plate on Fargo's lone error of the contest.
"Obviously you didn't want your season to end, but, you know, they did more than we did," said Jamestown Eagles coach Sam Joseph. "We just gotta keep our heads up and get to next year, but it's tough because I feel for guys like Tommy Falk, Max Anderson, J-Will, Chris and Isaac because they put in a lot of time and it showed.
"We had a great season. I'm proud of them."
The Eagles won the Class A West Region tournament championship last week at Jamestown's Jack Brown Stadium. They were winners of 25 games (25-7) and put up a sparkling record of 26-4 in the Class A West since Joseph took over as coach in 2019.
"I'm very proud of that," said Falk. "We took a huge jump, especially from last year.
"You look at the pieces we never had for parts of the season, and the way we battled and how we were as a team, I love those boys to death."
Thursday's starters returning in 2020 include Hoyt (outfield/pitcher), Lunzman (outfield/pitcher), Nenow (outfield/pitcher) Jacoby Nold (infield/pitcher) and Ty Monson (infield/pitcher). Hoyt, who'll be a junior, batted second in a solid 2020 lineup and went 5-for-11 with a double, walk, RBI and a run scored over three games at state.
"It's a bummer this year. We're losing a lot of good guys, but we got a lot of really good kids coming up and we'll be a real good team next year," Hoyt said. "We've got a lot of good arms, a lot of really good bats.
"I know we've got a lot of freshmen on the Blues right now that are really gonna step up and they're really gonna be key on our team."
Joseph said the future's foundation has been set.
"The program's heading in the right direction," Joseph said. "It sucks right now, but we should know that this is where we belong."
Senior Babe Ruth Class A State Tournament
At Charlie Brown Field, Valley City
(Seeding and region records in parenthesis)
Tuesday, Aug. 4
G1: (E1) West Fargo Vets 9, (W4) Minot Metros 0
G2: (E3) Fargo Jets 6, (W2) Bismarck Reps 4
G3: (W3) Bismarck Caps 13, (E2) Devils Lake 1
G4: (E4) Valley City 7, (W1) Jamestown 4
Wednesday, Aug. 5
G5: Bismarck Reps 6, Minot Metros 4
G6: Jamestown 4, Devils Lake 1
G7: West Fargo Vets 8, Fargo Jets 5
G8: Valley City 2, Bismarck Capitals 1
Thursday, Aug. 6
G9: Fargo Jets 3, Jamestown 2
JETS 100 020 0 - 3 7 1
JMST 001 010 0 - 2 5 1
Mitch Runcorn and Max Nystrom. Nolan Nenow, Mason Lunzman (5) and Tommy Falk.
Win - Mitch Runcorn 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
Loss - Mason Lunzman 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 0 K.
ND - Nolan Nenow (JMST starter) 4 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
JETS - Calvin Clasen 3-3, 2 R, RBI; Dylan Erholtz 1-2, RBI, 2 BB; Matt Hulstein 2-4; Chase Hansen 1-3, R;/
JMST - Jeremy Williams 1-4, R; Connor Hoyt 2-3 BB; Chris Erickson 1-3, 2B; Nolan Nenow 1-3, R.
G10: Bismarck Capitals 6, Bismarck Reps 2
CAPS 000 110 4 - 6 6 1
REPS 000 200 0 - 2 6 1
Win - Peyton Eagleson 6 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K
Loss - Jackson Kipfel 2 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
ND - Lucas Schell (Reps starter) 4 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K
CAPS - Shea Huntington 1-4, R, 3B; Jaden Mitzel 2-4, R, RBI; Josh Lardy 1-2, 2 R; Jack Trottier 1-1, R, RBI, 2 BB
REPS - Jackson Kipfel 2-4, R; Caiden Fischer 2-3, RBI; Joe LaDuke 1-3; Miles Stiefel 1-3
G11: West Fargo Vets 3, Valley City 2
VC 200 000 0 - 2 4 3
WF 200 001 x - 3 3 0
Win - Matt Heupel 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 10 K
Loss - Connor May 3 1/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
ND - Easton Hesch (VC starter) 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 2 K
VC - Avery Bennefeld 2-4, R; Jacob Johnson 0-2, R; Mitchel Taylor 1-3, 2 RBI; Corey Nelson 1-3
WF - Casey Reber 0-2, BB, 2 R; Matt Heupel 0-2, 2 BB, R; Kole Menz 0-2, RBI; Griffin Staahl 1-3, RBI; Mason Hoff 1-2, 2 BB
Friday, Aug. 7
G12: Fargo Jets vs. Valley City, 5 p.m.
G13: Bismarck Caps vs. West Fargo Vets, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 8
G14: G13 Winner vs. G12 Winner, noon (championship)
G15: (If necessary) G14 Winner vs. G14 Loser, 3 p.m.
Class A West Region Tournament
At Jack Brown Stadium, Jamestown
G1: (1) Bismarck Reps 10, (8) Mandan 0, (5 inn.)
G2: (4) Minot 10, (5) Bismarck Senators 8
G3: (3) Bis. Caps 11, (6) Dickinson 1
G4: (2) Jamestown 11, (7) Williston (3-13) 0
G5: Mandan 13, Bismarck Senators 7
G6: Dickinson 4, Williston 3
G7: Bismarck Reps 11, Minot 6 (state qualifier)
G8: Jamestown 2, Bismarck Caps 1 (8 inn.) (state qualifier)
G9: Bismarck Caps 2, Mandan 1 (state qualifier)
G10: Minot 20, Dickinson 10 (state qualifier)
G11: Bismarck Caps 4, Minot 3 (8 inn.)
G12: Jamestown 8, Bismarck Reps 1.
G13: Bismarck Reps 8, Bismarck Caps 7
G14: Jamestown 11, Bismarck Reps 3 (Championship)
Class A East Region Tournament
At Jack Williams Stadium, Fargo
G1: (1) WF Aces 4, (8) Casselton 2
G2: (5) Post 2 Jets 7, (4) Devils Lake 0
G3: (2) Valley City 5, (7) Kindred 3
G4: (3) WF Vets 11, (6) Post 2 Bombers 1
G5: Devils Lake 2, Casselton 1
G6: Post 2 Bombers 11, Kindred 1
G7: Post 2 Jets 6, WF Aces 5
G8: WF Vets 2, Valley City 0
G9: Post 2 Bombers 10, WF Aces 8
G10: Devils Lake 12, Valley City 0
G11: WF Vets 7, Post 2 Jets 6
G12: Devils Lake 4, Post 2 Bombers 0
G13: Devils Lake 5, Post 2 Jets 4
G14: WF Vets 5, Devils Lake 3 (championship)