A hitter losing track of the count during an at-bat happens.
But rarely does one see a hitter get all the way to first base on ball three before anyone says something loud enough in protest.
"I coulda swore it was the fourth (ball), so I just threw my bat and ran down there," laughed Jamestown Post 14's Jacoby Nold on Thursday at Jack Brown Stadium. "I got all the way and touched the bag and came back."
The moment of levity was part of a seven-run third inning for the Post 14 Eagles in Game 2 hosting the visiting Minot Metros. Jamestown brushed aside Minot by the scores of 5-0 and 11-0, limiting the visitors to four total hits in the doubleheader while moving to a perfect 14-0 in the American Legion Class A West Region standings with four conference games remaining.
Jamestown can lock up the regular-season crown with a pair of wins over the Bismarck Reps (12-2) on Monday in Bismarck.
Nold clobbered a 3-0 pitch foul following his 180-foot trot back to home plate before eventually earning an actual free pass on the next pitch.
"That's the first time for that," Post 14 coach Sam Joseph smiled. "That dang kid."
Nold teamed up with Carson Orr and Connor Hoyt on the mound to stifle the Metros (6-6 West Region), with Nold and Orr combining to blank the Metros in Game 1 and Hoyt taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning of Game 2. Nold started the opener and recorded the win after tossing four scoreless innings and Hoyt eventually gave up two hits in the fifth as the Eagles won the nightcap in mercy-rule fashion.
"That's what we want to do," Joseph said. "We've got a long three weeks coming up and we're going to need everybody."
Joseph said his original plan was to toss at least one more arm in the nightcap. But what's a coach supposed to do when a pitcher's flirting with a zero in the hit column?
"I told Hoyt in the top of the fourth that this was his last inning, and he looked at me, like, 'Coach, c'mon," Joseph said. "I didn't realize he had a no-no going, and he came back in and gave up that hit and I almost went out there and took him out.
"But he threw a very good game like he always does. He's very smart on the mound."
Hoyt picked up a pair of strikeouts and tossed 53 total pitches. Nold fanned four hitters in the opener and Orr struck out a pair in three innings of one-hit relief work.
Orr also batted 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs in the two games, as extra time spent working on his swing both with Joseph and during a recent stint playing down with the Jamestown Blues American Legion team has the 16-year-old playing solid baseball as of late.
"In school ball, he didn't get many innings out in the field or at-bats, but I wanted him to go get some innings in Blues because he came back and he's hitting the ball very well," Joseph explained. "In the offseason, him and I changed his swing a lot. He needed to get used to it, and he's getting there because the ball's jumping off his bat right now."
Orr played roughly a week with the Blues last month as Jamestown traveled to a tournament in Gillette, Wyoming.
"I just needed more time to get used to playing and swinging," Orr said. "I'm just staying back and trying to hit the ball up the middle."
Orr's cousin, Gage Orr, batted 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base in Game 1, while Hoyt and Brooks Roaldson both batted 2-for-2 in the nightcap. Jamestown also didn't commit an error defensively, after committing six defensive miscues in a pair of wins Tuesday hosting the Class AA Williston Keybirds.
"We got those two wins over Williston and I think we're just clicking," Nold said. "I don't think we had an error today, which is really good. We cleaned things up and the pitchers pitched well."
Jamestown will wrap up region play next Tuesday hosting Dickinson at 5:30, following Monday's clash at Bismarck.
"They do everything pretty well," Nold said of the Bismarck Reps. "They play a lot of small ball -- they like to bunt and stuff -- so we gotta make sure we're clean with that. Pretty much play our game and we'll be fine."
The annual Phil Brown Classic is set to begin next Friday at Jack Brown Stadium and run through Sunday, before West Region tournament play fires up the following week in Watford City.
"Every year you want to get that No. 1 seed going into the tournament," Joseph said. "We're gonna treat the Bismarck game just like any other game. Play our style of game and hopefully get two wins out of it."
Jamestown 5, Minot 0
M 000 000 0 -- 0 2 0
J 010 130 X -- 5 7 0
Batteries: M, Luke Balas, Parker Hann (3) and Jaxson Radke, Tyler Collins (4). J, Jacoby Nold, Carson Orr (5) and Isaac Mimong. W-Nold. L-Balas
Highlights: M, Balas 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB; Hann 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 SO, 4 BB; Adam Roedocker 1-2, BB; Mason Zietz 1-3.
J, Nold 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 SO, 3 BB; C. Orr 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 2 BB, 1-3, RBI; Gage Orr 2-3, 2 RBI, R, SB; Mimong 1-3, 2B, R, BB; Jackson Walters 1-3, R; Brooks Roaldson 1-2, RBI, BB; Connor Hoyt 1-1, RBI, 2 BB.
Jamestown 11, Minot 0 (5 inn.)
M 000 00 -- 0 2 1
J 027 2X -- 11 8 0
Batteries: M, Kaleb Spitzer, Luke Balas (3), Eddie Fry (4) and Jaxson Radke. J, Connor Hoyt and Max Fronk, Nolan Nenow (5). W-Hoyt. L-Spitzer.
Highlights: M, Spitzer 2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 SO, 5 BB; Balas 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB; Fry 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 SO, 2 BB; Griffin Baker 1-1, SB; Mazon Zietz 1-2.
J, Hoyt 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 1 BB, 53 NP, 2-2, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB; Carson Orr 2-2, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB; Brooks Roaldson 2-2, 2 R, BB, SB; Ty Monson 1-2, 2 RBI; Fronk 1-2, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB.