Missed opportunities Thursday night at Jack Brown Stadium stung Jimmie baseball in a comeback bid hosting rival Mayville State University.
The University of Jamestown clawed back from a 3-0, fifth-inning deficit, only to falter in a pair of game-winning situations after taking a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth. UJ senior pitcher Andy Reed -- attempting a four-out save in the ninth -- allowed a two-out, gaming tying single to Mayville State's Marcus Wohl on a 3-2 pitch with a runner on second, and UJ center fielder Chase Hacker fanned on a Preston Edinger 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the 10th tied at 4-4.
Wohl dealt the final blow in the 11th. The senior catcher from West Fargo, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, sent an opposite-field solo homer over the ivy in right off UJ's Aaron Pugh as the Comets would hang on for a 5-4 victory.
"(Mayville State) played great baseball, they did what they had to do and we didn't," said UJ head baseball coach Tom Hager. "We had two different times where we came down to a final strike -- one at the plate and one on the mound -- and we didn't get the job done."
Reed has pitched in all three games played by the Jimmies (1-2) this fall and entered Thursday's game in the eighth with two runners on and two away. He promptly struck out Adam Senden to end the frame, but after fanning Theo May leading off the ninth a Sammy Satrom single to right put the wheels in motion to get Wohl back up to the plate at the top of the order.
A career .301 hitter for the Comets (3-1), Wohl was batting just 2-for-12 through Mayville State's first three games. Wohl's homer in the 11th came after Pugh began the frame with back-to-back punch outs of Satrom and Anthony Villanueva.
The Comets suffered an 8-4 setback to Valley City State on Monday, after defeating both the Vikings and the Jimmies to open the fall last week.
"We were so disappointed with the way we played on Monday. The kids responded fabulous," said Mayville State head coach Scott Berry. "Win or lose, the kids just really competed well against some really good arms and a very good team."
Pugh earned the save for Jamestown in Wednesday's 6-4 win hosting Valley City State and it looked as if the Jimmies wouldn't need him again Thursday, up until Wohl got to Reed in the ninth.
"I think you've just got to give their hitter credit," said Hager. "He did exactly what he needed to do against a really good pitcher with two strikes and he put the ball in play."
UJ sophomore righty Trey Evans recorded the final out in the top half of the ninth and was able to toss a scoreless 10th after Jamestown nearly walked off the game in the bottom of the ninth with a Grant Okawa single off the right-field wall. The Jimmies' Kendall Yackley was tossed out at the plate by second baseman Satrom on the play, via a 9-4-2 putout while trying to score the winning run from second with two outs.
The Comets put up single runs in the third, fourth and fifth off UJ starter Dru Fitz, who allowed seven hits through 4 1/3 innings. Junior Cameron Jenkins was in line to score his first win of the season, pitching one-hit, scoreless baseball for the next 2 2/3s while the Jimmies stormed back to take the lead.
Yackley is warming up at the plate, belting a two-run homer in the fifth off Mayville State starter Matthew Johnson, and the Comets' Trevor Schreiner coughed up a game-tying RBI single to Jared Bentley in the sixth and a go-ahead RBI single to Yackley in the seventh.
The Jimmies play Mayville State for a third time this Sunday in Mayville.
"They've got a solid team. But make no mistake about it, we're not backing down from anybody and we're going to be ready to go on Sunday," Hager said. "Nobody's gonna feel sorry for us, so it's time to learn from this and find a way to get back at it."
Following Sunday, Jamestown wraps up fall baseball by first traveling to play Valley City State next Tuesday and then hosting Valley City on Oct. 4.
Mayville State 5, University of Jamestown 4 (11 inn.)
M 001 110 001 01 -- 5 14 3
J 000 021 100 00 -- 4 9 3
Matthew Johnston, Trevor Schreiner (6), Marcus Hughes (9), Preston Edinger (10) and Marcus Wohl. Dru Fitz, Cameron Jenkins (5), Noah Soltero (8), Andy Reed (8), Trey Evans (9), Aaron Pugh (11) and Braxton Hewitt. W--Edinger. L--Pugh.
Highlights: M, Johnson 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 SO, 2 BB; Schreiner 2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 SO; Edinger 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO; Wohl 4-5, HR, 2 RBI; Michael Theisen 2-5, Adam Senden 2-5, HR, RBI; Hughes 2-4.
J, Fitz 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 SO, 1 BB, 1 HR; Jenkins 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Soltero 2/3 IP 0 H, 1 SO; Reed 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO; Evans 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Pugh 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 SO; Kendall Yackley 2-5, HR, 3 RBI; Grant Okawa 2-4, 2B, Chase Hacker 2-5, Jared Bentley 2-2, RBI, BB.
Records: Mayville State 3-1. Jamestown 1-2.