Jimmies bounce back Tuesday against Cobbers

Following a rough start to its conference baseball schedule last weekend in Nebraska, the University of Jamestown baseball team was itching to get back on the diamond.

uj baseball concordia 2021 trujillo HR.jpg
University of Jamestown's Lincoln Trujillo (center) is congratulated by teammates after belting a two-run home run in the first inning against Concordia College at Bucky Burgau Field in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

MOORHEAD, MINN. -- Following a rough start to its conference baseball schedule last weekend in Nebraska, the University of Jamestown baseball team was itching to get back on the diamond.

It showed Tuesday facing Concordia College at Bucky Burgau Field in Moorhead, Minnesota.

UJ first baseman Lincoln Trujillo belted a two-run homer off the Cobbers' Gabe Duncan in the first inning, as UJ banged out 12 hits and its bullpen allowed just one hit over six innings in a 7-3 victory over the Cobbers.

Jamestown (14-10) dropped three of four at Great Plains Athletic Conference opponent Hastings College over the weekend.

"Was trying to work on something last week, and obviously in Hastings, it was a little rough," said Trujillo, who also swatted a double during a 2-for-4 afternoon. "So, spent a day trying to work opposite and see the ball deep, and I was able to let it get deep and I put a good swing on that one. It felt good to start the day like that."


The Jimmies came close to matching their entire hit total (19) put up during their four games at Hastings.

Right fielder Brian Rice clubbed three hits and a pair of doubles while driving in three runs, and third baseman Kendall Yackley also produced a couple of hits and a double while driving in a run.

"Really happy with how we were able to bounce back," said UJ baseball coach Tom Hager. "I think it was key scoring some runs in the first inning, especially after not swinging it very well last weekend. We worked hard the last couple of days on finding a way to put the ball in play and I think we did that today."

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University of Jamestown's Austin Pesicka (pitching) strikes out Concordia College's Mason Penske in the eighth inning at Bucky Burgau Field in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Pesicka struck out the side in the 7-3 Jamestown victory. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Trujillo's homer followed a Dylan Dudley RBI single, which scored Tayler Cullen from third who had singled on the first pitch of the ball game, and UJ led 3-0 to start. UJ starter Mitchell Dennis ran into a little trouble early, allowing three runs -- two earned -- in the first inning, but was able to pick up his second win of the season after UJ earned the lead back in the third behind Trujillo's double and an RBI sac fly off the bat of Rice to center.

UJ's bullpen then went to work. Logan O'Neil (1 hit), Noah Soltero (0 hits), Trey Evans (0 hits), Benjamin Ray (0 hits), Austin Pesicka (0 hits) and Aaron Pugh (0 hits) all tossed a frame.

"Tremendous job by our bullpen," Hager said. "We knew coming in that this was gonna be a staffer day, and I felt like guys worked fast, they threw lots of strikes and they got good results. It was fun to watch."


Pesicka impressed in the eighth, striking out the side in order. Aaron Pugh also fanned a pair in the ninth.

"When I get into a rhythm, I just like to get the ball and throw it," Pesicka said. "I really liked my slider today. I've actually been struggling with that pitch for the last couple of weeks. Just worked on it in practice and got it going today."

Pesicka gave up the game-winning run in last Saturday's 3-2 loss at Hastings in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"He's a veteran and he pitched like it today," Hager said. "One of the best things about baseball is you get to come back and play within a couple of days. I've always said that's why I think it'd be really difficult to be a football coach."

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University of Jamestown second baseman Brice Foster attempts a diving catch on a ball that sneaks through the infield at Bucky Burgau Field in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Leading 4-3, the Jimmies did the rest of their offensive damage in the fifth. Rice delivered a two-run double after Dudley (walk) and Trujillo (hit by pitch) both reached base to open the frame.

Yackley later doubled to score Rice.


Jamestown resumes GPAC play this Friday with two games at Midland University (11-12, 1-3 GPAC) in Fremont, Nebraska. The Jimmies then travel to Northwestern College (7-13, 0-4) for two games on Saturday in Orange City, Iowa.

UJ defeated Northwestern 4-0 and 3-2 on March 12 in a pair of non-league games in Iowa.

"We're looking to get back to playing Jimmie baseball," Hager said. "Putting the ball in play, running the bases and attacking the strike zone like we did today.

"We're very capable of doing that so I'm looking forward to watching my team here in a couple of days playing the way we know we can play."

After last weekend, Trujillo said the Jimmies have plenty to prove.

"I think the guys kinda expected to take that series, which you can never do. We've always got good competition," Trujillo said. "We've just got to move on from that and learn from those mistakes to show that's not who we really are. That bad weekend doesn't represent us."

University of Jamestown 7, Concordia College (Minn.) 3

UJ 301 030 000 -- 7 12 1


CC 300 000 000 -- 3 4 0

Mitchell Dennis, Logan O'Neil (4), Noah Soltero (5), Trey Evans (6), Ben Ray (7), Austin Pesicka (8), Aaron Pugh (9) and Dirk Eymundson. Gabe Duncan, Luke Levasseur (4), Ashwin Stratton (7), Max Boran (9) and Toby Sayles. W-Dennis. L-Duncan.

Highlights: UJ, Dennis 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO; O'Neil 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO; Soltero 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO; Evans 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO; Ray 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO; Pesicka 1 Ip, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO; Pugh 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO; Tyler Cullen 1-4, BB, R, 2 SB; Grant Okawa 1-5, 2B; Dylan Dudley 1-2, BB, RBI, R; Lincoln Trujillo 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R; Brian Rice 3-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R, SB; Kendall Yackley 2-4, 2B, RBI; Eymundson 1-3; Chase Hacker 1-4, 2 SB.

CC, Duncan 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Levasseur 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO; Matt Gruber 1-4, 2B, RBI; Ben Swans 1-3, RBI.

Records: Jamestown 14-10. Concordia 3-2.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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