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Irey, Jimmies rattle No. 5 Bruins

Quinn Irey's walk-off home run on Friday in West Fargo instantly became Jimmie baseball lore. The junior catcher from Bismarck smashed a two-out, three-run liner just inside the left field foul pole in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the ...

Quinn Irey
Quinn Irey

Quinn Irey's walk-off home run on Friday in West Fargo instantly became Jimmie baseball lore.

The junior catcher from Bismarck smashed a two-out, three-run liner just inside the left field foul pole in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the University of Jamestown to an 8-5 victory over fifth-ranked Bellevue University (Neb.) at Elmwood Park.

The bomb came on an 0-2 pitch off reliever Max Dwyer and capped a come-from-behind, five-run ninth for the Jimmies.

"Trust me, there was plenty of body language from players and coaches when it got out," Jamestown head coach Tom Hager said. "It was a great time for Jimmie baseball."

The Bruins went on to defeat the Jimmies 2-0 in the seven-inning second game, but Hager's 599th career victory was a memorable one, snapping Bellevue's 27-game winning streak. The Jimmies and the Bruins play two more contests today in West Fargo beginning at noon.

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"That was a heckuva grind-it-out win, and I'm proud of the guys," Hager said. "We scored some runs early and just kinda believed we could keep scoring, and sure enough we got some guys on in that ninth inning."

Trailing the Bruins 5-3, singles by Taichi Sasaki and Kory Wolden started the Jimmie rally and knocked Bruins' starter Ben McKendall off the mound with one out in the ninth. Nico Kelly followed with a perfectly executed safety squeeze off Dwyer to score Sasaki from third, and the Jimmies' No. 3 batter Landon Uetz was given a free pass to first base with two outs and Wolden already on second.

Then Friday's gusty winds came into play. Jamestown cleanup batter Tyler Ludlow hit a towering pop-up that appeared to be headed over second base, but it sailed back towards the pitcher's mound where Dwyer was unable to make the catch.

Wolden scored from second on what was scored a hit for Ludlow, setting up runners on second and third for Irey. With first base open, Irey picked up strike one, fouled off three pitches and won the game.

"Kelly executed the safety squeeze very well to score us a run," Hager said. "That allowed us to capitalize on their mistake, and then Irey came up in a big situation and it paid off big for us."

Jerome Byndloss pitched 6 1/3 innings (9 SO, 1 BB) for Jamestown but didn't figure into the decision. Brandon Radmacher notched the win by tossing just five pitches and recording a strikeout to finish off the Bruins in the top of the ninth.

The Bruins' starting pitcher Colten Barnes was difficult to solve in the seven-inning nightcap. The Jimmies mustered just four hits in the 2-0 loss.

Barnes struck out seven and didn't allow a walk. Brad Bennett pitched the first five innings for Jamestown, giving up the two runs in the fifth.

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"Give their kid credit. He pitched a heckuva game," Hager said. "Bennett gave us a quality start, and Marshal Burgess did a great job in relief, we just couldn't muster any runs together."

Two more big games against the Bruins loom today.

"They're a good team, but we've got some special abilities ourselves," Hager said. "The only way to prove that is to go out and get it done."

Jamestown 8, Bellevue 5

BU 100 000 301 -- 5 10 2

UJ 000 102 005 -- 8 10 2

Ben McKendall, Max Dwyer (9) and Jake Browne. Jerome Byndloss, Beau Rabedeaux (7), Nick Torres (9), Brandon Radmacher (9) and Quinn Irey. WP--Radmacher. LP--Dwyer. Highlights: UJ, Irey 2-5, HR, 3 RBI; Taichi Sasaki 3-4; Peter Pennylegion 2-3, 2B. Mark Kane 1-1, 2 RBI. BU, McKendall 8.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 7 SO, 1 BB; Jake Browne 2-4, 2 runs; Miles Campbell 1-4, 2 RBI.

Records: Jamestown 30-11, 11-2 NSAA; Bellevue 34-7, 12-1 NSAA.

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Bellevue 2, Jamestown 0 (7 innings)

BU 000 020 0 -- 2 8 0

UJ 000 000 0 -- 0 4 0

Colten Barnes and Jake Browne. Brad Bennett, Marshal Burgess (6) and Quinn Irey. WP--Barnes. LP--Bennett. Highlights: UJ, Bennett 5 IP, 7 H, 2 SO, 0 BB; Burgess 2 IP, 1 H, 3 SO, 0 BB. BU, Barnes 7 IP 7 SO, 0 BB; Diego Iribarren 1-3, 2B, RBI, run; Miles Campbell 1-2, RBI.

Records: Bellevue 35-7, 13-1 NSAA; Jamestown 30-12, 11-3 NSAA.

Related Topics: JAYSBASEBALL
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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