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Jimmies' Brown helps end fall ball with 5-4 win over Valley

The Jimmies' 5-1 start to the season is their best start since they started the 19-20 season 6-1.

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Valley City State University's Dustin Mertz, from left, Jaden Babiuk and Tory Nelson (5) react to a controversial fair-foul call with the ball rolling down the third base line after a bunt by the Jimmies' Jordan Singleton on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at Jack Brown Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — The University of Jamestown’s Hayden Brown helped his team get a 5-4 win over rival Valley City State University on Monday, Oct. 3, at Jack Brown Stadium. Brown went 1-for-1 with a home run and one walk at the plate. The junior was called upon to pitch as well and went 2.2 innings giving up one hit while striking out three and getting two key double plays.

“I was just trying to attack get ahead early, get ahead often and just let my defense work,” Brown said. “We got a great defense behind me, so I’m not afraid to go attack hitters.”

The first of the double plays saw Brown come in with the bases loaded and one out and induce a seventh inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The second double play came in the eighth when Brown got the Vikings’ Shane Nixon to line out to Reece McKenzie at third who promptly threw it to Alex Tolbert at first to double off the runner and end another threat.

“Two curveballs, well located, they were hit hard but once again, great defense,” Brown said. “(I am) not afraid to throw it over the plate, let the defense work.”

The Vikings (2-4) opened the scoring in the top of the first when Drew Nixon hit a single up the middle to score Shane Nixon and make it 1-0.

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The Jimmies (5-1) punched back when Payton Smith got a hold of one and sent it over the wall in left-center to tie the game up at one in the bottom of the first.

The Vikings’ Zach Veneman lined one over the wall in right field to push his team out in front 2-1 in the top of the second.

The long ball party continued in the bottom of the second as the Jimmies’ Alex Tolbert crushed a ball over the wall in left-center to tie the game up at two. The Jimmies would take the lead later in the inning when Kendall Yackley and Alex Alva scored on two passed balls to make it 4-2.

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The University of Jamestown dugout celebrates a solo home run by Hayden Brown (18) against Valley City State on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at Jack Brown Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

The Jimmies’ Hayden Brown came up in the bottom of the fourth and hit a missile over the wall in right field to push the Jimmies' lead out to 5-2.

“I got all of that baseball so I had a good idea it was leaving the yard,” Brown said.

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The Vikings fought back in the top of the seventh when Ryan Reynolds hit a line drive off the leaping glove of third baseman Reece McKenzie to score Shane Nixon and cut the deficit to 5-3. The Vikings brought it to within one run thanks to a Hunter Magnuson single to make it 5-4.

After Jimmies starter Trei Hough only went two innings, Jimmies head coach Tom Hager handed the ball off to Luke Zimmer who went four innings, striking out four hitters while giving up three hits and one earned run. Zimmer threw 51 pitches with 36 of them going for strikes.

“I’m a fastball first guy but tonight the slider was working for me,” Zimmer said.

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In total, the Jimmies bullpen went seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk, while striking out eight hitters.

“Certainly Hayden Brown pitched very very well but we couldn’t get there without Zimmer doing his job and one of the things that those guys both have in common is they’re able to attack, attack, attack and throw any pitch in any count,” Jimmies head coach Tom Hager said.

This game is the Jimmies' final game of the fall ball season and sees them head into the winter on a four-game winning streak.

“This team has found ways to win games,” Hager said. “Certainly, it could be prettier, there’s things we need to shore up. We definitely need to grow and get better as a ball club but the one thing this fall showed us was, we’ve learned how to win baseball games.”

VCSU 4, UJ 5

VCSU: 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0–4 12 0

UJ: 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 X—5 7 1

WP: Luke Zimmer (3-0) LP: Dustin Mertz (1-1) SV: Hayden Brown (3)

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Scoring plays:

First inning:

VCSU: Drew Nixon RBI single, Shane Nixon scores

UJ: Payton Smith solo HR

Second inning:

VCSU: Zach Veneman solo HR

UJ: Alex Tolbert solo HR

UJ: Kendall Yackley scores on a passed ball

UJ: Alex Alva scores on a passed ball

Fourth inning:

UJ: Hayden Brown solo HR

Seventh inning:

VCSU: Ryan Reynolds RBI single, S. Nixon scores

VCSU: Hunter Magnuson RBI single, Christian Ramirez scores

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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