Reed opens, Rice erupts in UJ win over Blue Hawks

Usually reserved for later-inning, higher-leverage spots, Andy Reed worked as the opener Wednesday for the University of Jamestown baseball team hosting Dickinson State.

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University of Jamestown's Mitchell Dennis follows thru on a pitch to Dickinson State Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Usually reserved for later-inning, higher-leverage spots, Andy Reed worked as the opener Wednesday for the University of Jamestown baseball team hosting Dickinson State.

The senior looked sharp ahead of this weekend's four-game Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season finale against Doane, which begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium.

Reed used 25 pitches against eight batters over two innings, recording four fly-ball outs and two ground outs in an 8-4 Jimmies' victory against the Blue Hawks.

"I just wanted to attack the zone," Reed said. "Had a couple rough ones these last couple appearances, but I wanted to attack and work on some things, especially for this mid-week game going into Doane, which is a big series."

Reed has recorded 80 career strikeouts in 92 innings for the Jimmies but had allowed 16 hits and nine earned runs over his last seven outings. Reed had a particularly frustrating time last Saturday at Morningside, being charged with three earned runs in relief without recording an out in an 8-4 UJ loss.


The bullpen leader said he still has a solid feel for his pitches, but hitters have simply been guessing correctly more often than not against the righty entering Wednesday. That's something that isn't too uncommon with a pitcher who's been around a little while.

"I feel great. The slider and the curve have been working, I think I just need to mix in that inside fastball a little bit more," said Reed, who is 9-3 all-time for the Jims with eight career saves. "These GPAC teams, they've seen me for two years. They know what I'm gonna throw.

"I think mixing it up is going to be big this weekend."

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University of Jamestown's Andy Reed talks with teammates in the dugout while facing Concordia College at Bucky Burgau Field in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

University of Jamestown head coach Tom Hager isn't afraid to put Reed on the hill in any situation, which included Wednesday's start. The Jimmies used eight arms, with closer Aaron Pugh (2.00 ERA, 6 saves) facing the minimum and recording two strikeouts in a non-save situation in the ninth.

"We wanted to get Reed a start here. It's been a while since that's happened," Hager said. "You never know when we might use him in the postseason and anytime you can start the game out with two scoreless innings, that sets the tone. He did a really nice job today."

UJ's Brian Rice was the afternoon's player of the game. The junior right fielder from Vancouver, Washington, ignited the Jimmies' offense with a homer and four RBI's during a 3-for-5 day at the plate.


Rice uncorked a two-run single in the third inning, giving Jamestown a 2-1 lead, and the left-hander later pulled a two-run shot over the wall in right to break a 4-4 tie in the fourth. The Jimmie lead-off hitter raised his season average from .294 to .306 in 122 at-bats.

"Brian has the ability to take over a game," Hager said. "He might be small in stature, but he can be electric and today he was fun to watch."

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Dust billows off the closed glove of Lincoln Trujillo (13) signifying a catch to make an out at first base on Mathias Dufner (9) of Dickinson State Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Rice is listed at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, but he squared up a low John Koronka fastball and took it yard with the best of them.

"The swing felt right, that's all it really was," Rice said. "The approach was just middle-away, try and get on and start something for the team."

Jamestown's offense came alive in its final outing last weekend, erupting for 10 extra-base hits -- 20 total -- in an 11-9 win at conference-leader Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. Left fielder Tayler Cullen went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the third Wednesday, while Kendall Yackley blasted a two-run shot over the wall in left for insurance in the eighth.

"We came together as a team, just really preaching that we play as a team," Rice said of the Jimmies' final game in Seward. "No selfish at-bats, leave everything out there for the guys and play our hearts out."


Mitchell Dennis pitched the third and allowed a single run, while Trey Evans bounced back in the fifth after struggling from the rubber in the fourth. Evans allowed two singles and a two-run double to Dickinson's Karson Backer, as the Blue Hawks would tie the game at 4-4, but Evans sat down the side in order in the fifth.

Cameron Multer (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 SO) and Ben Ray (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 SO) got the game to Pugh in the ninth.

"Our plan was to use a bunch of different guys on the mound," Hager said. "I was really proud of how we attacked the zone, and also really proud of how when we asked guys to come back for another inning, they were better the second inning than they were the first inning."

This weekend's series hosting the Doane University Tigers should be a fun one. The Jimmies (28-17, 13-10) sit fifth in the conference standings, while the Tigers (28-16-1, 17-7) are a game behind 22nd-ranked Concordia for the conference lead.

Jamestown is 6-2 against Doane dating back to 2014.

"There's no question that we took a step forward this past weekend swinging the bats against Concordia," Hager said. "Then I felt like today we also had some good at-bats. We just need to keep that rolling against Doane."

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Emerging from the dust is University of Jamestown's Tayler Cullen after diving into second base earning a double and avoiding a tag from Tamarek Wrinkle (4) of Dickinson State Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at Jack Brown Stadium. John M. Steiner / The Sun


University of Jamestown 8, Dickinson State University 4

D 001 300 000 - 4 7 0

J 004 200 020 - 8 9 1

Batteries: D, Tamarek Wrinkle, John Koronka (4), Jose Torres (7), Jackson Schaubel (8) and Kaiden Reeve. J, Andy Reed, Mitchell Dennis (3), Trey Evans (4), Cameron Multer (6), Ben Ray (8), Aaron Pugh (9) and Dirk Eymundson, Connor Mormon (6). W-Multer. L-Koronka.

Highlights: D, Tamarek 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 62 TP; Koronka 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 SO; Karson Backer 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB; Mathias Dufner 2-3, 2B, R.

J, Reed 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 SO, 25 TP; Dennis 1 IP, 1R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Evans 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO; Cameron 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO; Ray 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Pugh 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Tayler Cullen 2-4, 2B, RBI, R; Brian Rice 3-5, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R; Kendall Yackely 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, R; Chase Hacker 1-2, BB, R, SB; Luke Shekeryk 1-4, RBI, R.

Records: Jamestown 28-17. Dickinson 12-20.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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