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Bench steps up for Eagles against Walleye

The Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team swept Watford City 14-1, 11-1 Thursday.

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Jamestown's Kasen Rowell dives into second base to beat a tag by Rhylan Olson of Watford City Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team beat more than the heat Thursday afternoon at Jack Brown Stadium.

"It felt good," head coach Sam Joseph said of his team's performance. "The guys came out a little flat in their first game but other than that, they did well getting back on the bats and being aggressive on the base paths and putting Watford in some pressure situations. I was proud of what they did today."

The Eagles pitched a two-game sweep over Watford City Post 29 defeating the visitors 14-1 and 11-1 to finish out their five-game week at home. The Eagles defeated Valley City 8-6 in nine innings on Tuesday and on Wednesday the squad shut down Mandan 7-6 and 6-0.

Post 14, the team that won the 2020 West Region title, still remains undefeated in the West Region at 12-0. The Eagles' win streak has warranted a trying new things-approach on offense and defense. Joseph has been making changes to the lineup in order to ensure the entire roster is ready to go for the West Region and state tournaments later this month.

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legion baseball rowell safe 070121
Jamestown's Kasen Rowell dives into second base to beat a tag by Rhylan Olson of Watford City Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"We had to get in some of our younger guys," Joseph said. "We have younger guys who can step in and pick up right where the older guys left off (but) we need to make sure that when we put new guys in there, there's not a big dropoff. We're only as good as our bench."

The Eagles' reserves were plenty good on Thursday.

Max Fronk, the Eagles backup catcher, went .500 at the plate in game No. 2. The soon-to-be Jamestown High School junior recorded a double and drove in two runs. Fronk's fifth-inning single put the Eagles one run away from 10-running the Walleye.

"I was just really focusing on getting a hit," Fronk said of his fifth-inning at-bat. "My last pitch, I kind of missed it and popped out so I was just really focused on hitting the ball hard."

Fronk's grounder to Walleye shortstop Jason Hogue found the gap, allowing Walters to score from third. Jacoby Nold scored the game-winning run off a single from Gage Orr. Fronk went 3-for-6 in the batter's box and as a team, the Eagles recorded 27 hits across the 10 innings.

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Jamestown's Preston Kroeber had plenty of time Thursday, July 1, 2021, as Ty Howe of Watford City waits for the throw to first base at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

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"I think that we are doing really well making contact with the ball," Fronk said. "We're not striking out much or walking a lot. I think that is good. Our discipline has been really good at the plate."

Joseph commended Fronk's batting and added that Fronk has impressed him behind the plate. Fronk, the starting pitcher for the JHS baseball team, has taken a back seat to Isaac Mimong this summer. Joseph said when needed, Fronk delivers with authority.

"When he goes in there, he does what he's done all year -- catching the ball, throwing the ball, calling a great game," Joseph said. "We've also got Kasen Rowell who does really well with keeping energy on the bench and on the field and Peyton Hochhalter who I let know that if something goes down on the mound, he's going to be playing."

Joseph is going to need his deep bench and standout starters next week.

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Jamestown's Jackson Walters delivers a pitch to a Watford City batter Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday, hosting the Williston Keybirds -- a team that defeated the Eagles 4-2 at the 36th Annual Hdlacky Legion Baseball tournament in Gillette, Wyoming last week. Tuesday's doubleheader is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. with Game 2 to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.

"I really want those two games," Joseph said. "Then on Thursday, we play against the Bismarck Reps. They are probably one of the best teams on our side so we've got to go there and compete."

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Post 14 14, Post 29 1

POST 29 100 00X X -- 1 3 4

POST 14 1(11)2 0XX X -- 14 11 0

POST 14 -- Kasen Rowell; Carson Orr (4). W -- Rowell.

Highlights

POST 29: Derrick Duncan 1-2; Jason Hogue 2-3.

POST 14: Rowell (3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K); Mason Lunzman 3-4, 3 RBI; Jackson Walters 1-2, RBI; Isaac Mimong 1-1; Brooks Roaldson 1-2, RBI; Preston Kroeber 1-1; Connor Hoyt 2-2, RBI; Max Fronk 1-2, 2 RBI; Gage Orr 1-2, RBI.

POST 14 11, POST 29 1

POST 29 100 00X X -- 1 6 0

POST 14 332 12X X -- 11 16 1

POST 29 -- Duncan. POST 14 -- Jackson Walters; Brooks Roaldson (4). W -- Walters; L -- Duncan.

Highlights

POST 29: Jace Willis 2-3; Jason Hogue 3-3.

POST 14: Walters (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) 2-3, RBI; Fronk 2-4, 2 RBI, 2B; Carson Orr 3-4, 2 RBI; Gage Orr 1-4, RBI; Payton Hochhalter 2-2, 2 2B; Kasen Rowell 2-3, 2 RBI; Preston Kroeber 1-3.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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