The Jamestown High School baseball team put together a nearly five-hour show at Jack Brown Stadium Thursday night.
The Blue Jays rang in the 2021 season with a split against visiting Bismarck High. The Jays topped the Demons 5-3 in game 1, while Bismarck took the second 8-6.
Jamestown was scheduled to be back in action on Tuesday hosting Bismarck Century. Those games have been moved to April 22 and Jamestown's next action is now slated for this Friday (April 16) at Valley City.
"I liked seeing what they were like in a competitive situation," said Jack Bowman, the Blue Jays' new coach. "I told them that it's one thing to practice and look good there and it's another when the lights are on and people are cheering. It was good to see that."
The Jays had not played a competitive WDA league game since 2019, so the good things took a little longer to show up but there were certainly glimpses all across the 14 innings.
In the fourth inning of the first game, Ethan Gall, a sophomore catcher for the Jays, stepped to the plate with two outs on the board. The Jays were down 3-1 when Gall let loose a powerful swing that barely missed going over the fence.
Gall's hit kicked off a hot streak for the Jays. Sophomore Mason Lunzman's drive to left field put runners on first and third and Connor Hoyt rifled off another double that sent Gall and Lunzman home. Hoyt scored on a double from Jacoby Nold that made the score 4-3 Blue Jays.
"It's always good to get the lead," Bowman said. "I think that is a credit to them that they knew they could do it. It was just a matter of executing it and they did."
After the Jays gained their one-run advantage, the home team was relying heavily on Carson Orr to make sure the Demons didn't end up sneaking away with the win.
Nold started out the first two innings on the mound, but for the sake of pitch count, Bowman put Orr in to start the third inning. Nold took over third base while Michael Mahoney switched over to the first bag.
"Carson came in and I had never seen him throw before and he really put on a clinic on how to pitch," Bowman said. "He threw strikes. I told the guys it's not about velocity, it's about location, changing speeds and changing the pitch.
"I thought he did a really good job of keeping them off balance throwing strikes. For him, that was awesome."
Orr tossed four innings and gave up just one hit and one run. The sophomore also recorded three strikeouts. The relief pitcher wasn't the only Orr making big plays on the field.
In the bottom of the second inning, Blue Jay second baseman Gage Orr caught a line drive from the Demon's Cade Kivisto and then flipped the ball to first for a double play. In the third, Gage connected with Blue Jay shortstop Ty Monson for a 4-6 forceout on Demon catcher Cole Jahner. Orr also tallied outs in the fourth and fifth innings.
"He played well," Bowman said of Gage. "He's kind of reverting back to some things he's done in the past and we're trying to change some of that, but for the most part I am really happy with where he's headed."
Gage said he was happy with his performance on the field, but would like to see improvements in his batting averages. The junior had a walk and a run in his seven at-bats.
"We did some good things," Bowman said. "There are some things that we need to clean up. For our first set of games it was OK. My pitchers were throwing strikes and we battled."
Jamestown 5, Bismarck 3
BHS 110 100 0 -- 3 5 2
JHS 100 310 X -- 5 5 3
JHS: Jacoby Nold, Carson Orr (3); BHS: Treysen Eaglestaff, Caiden Schwehr (4). W -- Orr, L -- Eaglestaff
Highlights: JHS -- Orr (4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 K, 2 BB), Conner Hoyt 1-2, 2 RBI, 1 BB; Jacoby Nold 1-3, 1 RBI, Michael Mahoney 1-3, RBI.
BHS, Caiden Schwehr (2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB), Caden Fischer 2-4, RBI, Lucas Schell 1-3, RBI, Logan Schaubert 1-3.
Records: Bismarck High 1-0, Jamestown 0-1
Bismarck 8, Jamestown 6
BHS 021 300 2 -- 8 12 0
JHS 010 020 3 -- 6 9 2
JHS: Monson, Maclane Letherman (3), Jakob Shempp (4), Mason Lunzman (5); BHS: Lucas Schell W-Schell. L-Monson
Highlights: JHS --Monson (2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB), Nold 1-3, 2B, RBI; Brooks Roaldson 3-3, 2B, RBI; Jackson Walters 1-3, 2B.
BHS, Schell (6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 K, 9 BB), 2-3, Hunter Acker 2-2, 3 RBI; Fischer 2-4, 2B, RBI