Jackson Walters' hit up the middle and his footspeed were what kept the Jamestown Post 14 Baseball team from going into eight innings Saturday night.
"(I was thinking) get there, just get there," Post 14 head coach Sam Joseph said. "The good thing about it was that Jackson is quick so he was able to get down the line and beat (the throw) out."
Walters' single up the middle, secured the Eagles' first win of the 2021 Phil Brown Classic Legion Baseball tournament, driving in Preston Kroeber from third to make it a 4-3 Eagles victory over Gillette (Wyom.).
The Eagles are the No. 3 seed heading into the final day of play and are slated to face Mandan tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. The Eagles fell to Mandan 6-4 Friday night and got 10-runned by the No. 1 seeded Bismarck Governors team Saturday afternoon.
"It was a really good win to get," Walters said of the one-run victory. "I wanted to get a base-hit -- not go right down the middle so (Gillette) could turn a double-play but I ended up hitting it down the middle and having to leg it out.
"A hit is a hit at that point so whatever got it done, that's what we needed."
The Eagles also needed some quick legs over at third and thankfully for the team, Kroeber had two good ones.
"Stepping out there is always a mystery, you never know what is going to happen on the bases but you just go back to what the coaches have taught you and rely on your instincts," Kroeber said. "I was just thinking that as soon as I saw the ball hit, I was going to go in there and try to make a play."
While what happens on the field might be a mystery, Kroeber's speed was no secret to anyone.
Joseph said that he told Kroeber that he was running right when Monson got to first. The head coach said it was an easy decision to have Kroeber round the bases for the Eagles.
"Everybody in the state knows that PK is fast. He's a state-qualifying sprinter," Joseph said. "A lot of guys don't take that role on the team very well -- he embraces it and does a very good job with it. That was key there."
Another key for an Eagles' win was strong pitching -- something Walters proved he could do as well as running.
"Jackson's demeanor for everything is just awesome," Joseph said. "He went on the mound and gave up five hits right away ... but didn't give up any runs after that first inning. That guy just absolutely battles and I love it. It's awesome."
Walters went all seven innings on the mound surrendering just three runs off eight hits. Walters only gave up one walked a pair of Rider batters and retired three at the plate."
"I felt that I did pretty good," Walters said. "Our focus was just to throw strikes and keep getting outs. We were playing really well defensively. We did what we wanted, we didn't put up our 14 hits like we did a couple of days ago but we hit the ball well when we needed to.
"Tomorrow I think we'll have a good game and hit it well where and when we need to."
Post 14 4, Gillette 3
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