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Post 14 ready for West Region Tournament competition

The Jamestown Post 14 Legion Baseball team will compete at the West Region Tournament in Watford City July 21-25.

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Jamestown's Jacoby Nold gets a hit during the Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jamestown Post 14 Legion Baseball team clinched the West Region regular-season title 10 days ago.

Today, they'll see if they can clinch the tournament title.

"We are going to play every team like they are the best team in the state," Post 14 head coach Sam Joseph said. "One thing I have always harped on the guys about is setting the tone right away. It doesn't matter if it's a team that hasn't won a game all year or a team that is undefeated.

"Every game matters but these ones actually do matter now," Joseph said. "The records both show 0-0 and if you lose two games before you win two games, you are done."

The Eagles finished out the regular season with a record of 19-8, going 1-3 at the team's most recent tournament -- the 2021 Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. Post 14 clinched the West Region regular-season title on July 12 with a sweep of the Bismarck Reps.

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Post 14 dropped a game to the Dickinson Volunteers on July 13 but since the loss, Joseph said he's been proud of his team's effort on the field and mental focus when approaching the team's competition. The Eagles' most recent test came against the Mandan Chiefs.

"We were doing OK until we started making errors," Joseph said of the game. "We made eight errors, we just couldn't field the ball cleanly and we couldn't make the plays behind (pitcher Jacoby Nold). If you make eight errors, you don't really deserve to win a game but what I was proud of was that we kept it close."

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Catcher Isaac Mimong of Jamestown watches as a ball gets hit during the Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Joseph said that the starting pitcher threw an impressive six innings, not giving up a hit until the sixth frame against the Chiefs. Nold surrendered four runs off four hits and struck out seven. Mason Lunzman threw one inning in relief after Nold surrendered a game-winning homer to the visitors' leadoff hitter in the seventh.

Headed into the team's final two tournaments, Joseph said he is glad that the Eagles have options on the mound. The head coach said Post 14 might be relying on Connor Hoyt for a couple of games this week, as the hurler hasn't seen much time on the hill but likes to pound the strikezone.

"We want to go the pitchers that are going to throw more strikes," Joseph said. "We're going to throw some of our younger guys who pound their own and let our defense work.

"The best part about having the tournament in Watford is that it is on turf so hopefully we get some shoe hops and get rid of these fielding errors."

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Joseph said that one of the biggest things that he and his assistant coaches need to do is make sure that the Eagles stay hungry over the course of five days up in Watford City.

"One of the things that I am most proud of is the grind," Joseph said. "They put in a lot of work and they grind games out. Nothing is really easy with us -- there are times that we could put games away but we don't.

"At the same time, the guys don't give up. These are all scrappy guys and they love the competition."

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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