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Orr, Walters help Eagles outlast Royals

Legion Post 14 defeated Valley City 8-6 Tuesday night.

legion baseball nold on vc 5 062921
Jamestown's Jacoby Nold gets an out on Adam Bitz of Valley City Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Sam Joseph had to tease Jackson Walters a little bit Tuesday night at Jack Brown Stadium.

"He slid and then he faceplanted," Joseph, the Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball coach said with a laugh. "I was kind of teasing him a little bit that he's got to use his hands to touch the base and not his hands."

Regardless of what part of Walters' body touched the bag first, it secured the game-winning run for the Eagles.

The Eagles ended up defeating the Valley City Post 60 Royals in the nine-inning tilt 8-6. Post 14 will be back in action tomorrow against the Mandan A's. The doubleheader will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Jack Brown Stadium.

"That one felt really good, I think we played really well as a team," Walters said. "We wanted to get started with the win again the second half of the season and we want to keep the win-steak rolling."

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legion baseball mound visit 062921
Post 14 players, from left, Gage Orr, Jacoby Nold, Payton Hochhalter and Michael Mahoney have a visit on the mound Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Eagles were coming off a 1-4 performance at the annual Hdlacky Tournament in Gillette, Wyoming. The Eagles ended up winning their first game of the tourney but were unable to close out the tourney against dynamic pitching and explosive offenses. While the Eagles didn't come up on the right side of the scoreboard, Joseph said playing high-caliber teams over the weekend did wonders for the team's confidence at the plate.

"They faced really good pitching in Gillette so now we're just trying to transfer (confidence) over," Joseph said. "It's awesome. I would go to those tournaments every day."

While the confidence was there in the batter's box, the Royals' defense was able to keep the Eagles from scoring early.

The Eagles' No. 9 hitter, Gage Orr, stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and unloaded on Joe Cummings' first pitch drilling it right into Adam Bitz's open glove out in right field. The Eagles only tallied three hits across three innings and were kept scoreless in both the second and third innings.

The Royals started to take advantage of Eagles pitcher Max Fronk, tiring out the hurlers' arm by the fourth inning. Fronk has yet to complete a game on the mound for the Eagles but he did manage a pair of strikeouts to help and keep the score 3-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning.

"He throws really hard but one of the things he hasn't had much experience in is the game," Joseph said. "He's thrown in the bullpen at practices but that's a little different from the game. I believe he can be there. If we fix his mechanics and get his confidence level up, he'll be fine."

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Orr relieved Fronk after the Royals scored two to tie the ballgame at three apiece in the top of the fourth. Joseph said Orr has had a love-hate relationship with the mound this season but was proud of how the fireballer delivered against the Royals.

legion baseball walters scoop 062921
Jamestown's Jackson Walters makes a throw to first after scooping up the ball on the infield Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"The last time I pitched was two years ago," Orr said. "I am just not very comfortable but it was actually more fun than I thought it was. It was good."

Orr, the Eagles' first choice at second base, tossed the rest of the game recording four Ks and surrendering just one run on one hit.

"All those guys know that everybody's got to throw," Joseph said. "Gage ended up shutting it down for the rest of the way and that's what we need. He's doing well."

Post 60 took the lead in the fourth when Mitch Taylor singled on a full count to drive in Alex Thornton. The Royals drove in two more before Devyn Thorton ended the Royals' five-run inning with a flyout to centerfield.

While the Royals had the lead, the fourth inning was a little too soon to count the Eagles out -- especially with Preston Kroeber on the base paths.

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Kroeber put on the rockets sprinting home all the way from first base to make it a 6-5 ball game in the bottom of the fourth. Kroeber and Mason Lunzman both scored on Jacoby Nold's double up the middle. Nold's two-RBI double proved to be the senior's only hit of the game. The recent Jamestown High School grad went 1-for-2 at the plate.

Orr and the Eagles' defense shut out the Royals the last five innings, allowing the home team to try aggressive plays on offense, a tactic they plan to use against the A's and Watford City on Thursday.

"I just know from the past that Mandan can hit," Joseph said. "We're just going to come out and play good defense and obviously play the game we have been playing -- throwing strikes, letting our defense work, hitting the ball and running the bases hard."

Post 14 8, Post 60 6

POST 60 010 500 000 -- 6 5 3

POST 14 300 220 10X -- 8 9 3

POST 60: Joe Cummings, Adam Bitz (4), Max Mehus (6); POST 14: Max Fronk, Gage Orr (4). W -- Orr. L -- Bitz.

Highlights

POST 60 -- Gavin Gerhardt 1-3, 2 RBI; Mitch Taylor 1-4, RBI; Braxton Jorissen 1-4; Devyn Thornton 1-4; Adam Bitz 1-3, RBI.

POST 14 --Orr (5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K); Walters 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI; Isaac Mimong 1-3, RBI, 2B; Nold 1-2, 2 RBI, 2B; Michael Mahoney 3-4.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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