WALK-OFF WINNER: Anderson's bat helps Eagles sweep Metros
Jamestown's Max Anderson was shaping up to be the hard-luck losing pitcher Wednesday at Jack Brown Stadium until becoming the offensive hero in the bottom of the seventh.
Anderson uncorked a walk-off, two-run double to deep left-center field off Minot Metros' starter Tyler Buchanan, lifting the Eagles to a 6-5 victory in Senior Babe Ruth Class A West Region play. Jamestown polished off the conference sweep, winning the nightcap 9-0 behind Connor Hoyt's second win in as many starts to begin the season.
"Realistically, the mindset is just to put something in play, make something happen," said Anderson, who smoked a high fastball into the alley to win Game 1 on a 3-for-8 evening at the plate. "I saw something I liked and hit it as hard as I could."
The Dickinson State University baseball recruit left the mound after tossing six innings with Jamestown trailing 5-4, as Minot had pushed across five unearned runs behind a pair of wild pitches in the second and two Jamestown errors in a four-run fifth.
After the Metros secured the lead, Buchanan set down the Eagles 1-2-3 in both the fifth and six frames but ran into trouble in the seventh. Jamestown's Chris Erickson led off the final inning with his third single of the game and pitch hitter Jakob Schempp drew a four-pitch walk to put the go-ahead run on base.
Buchanan did get Jamestown's Tommy Falk to fly out to left -- Falk went 0-for-4 and left the bases loaded in the third -- before Anderson, batting cleanup, walked the Eagles off winners.
"He never gave up," said Jamestown assistant coach Alex Sablan of Anderson. "He kept competing all game. I had been asking him and he told me he felt good all game, so I just trusted in him and it paid off."
Anderson allowed seven hits and a pair of walks with a strikeout. It was Anderson's second start of the season after falling to Class AA Dickinson 8-2 to begin the summer.
Nolan Nenow was the winning pitcher after striking out a pair and getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.
Erickson went 3-for-3 at the dish with two runs, two stolen bases and an RBI. Jamestown committed four errors, which nearly cost the Eagles the game.
Jamestown got on the board in the bottom of the second with a double steal of home and second by Isaac Mimong and Michael Mahoney with nobody out and Jacoby Nold at the plate. Connor Hoyt was struck by a Buchanan pitch with the bases loaded to push run No. 2 across the plate with two outs before Falk grounded out to first to end the Jamestown threat.
A 1-6-3 double play started by Anderson on the mound got Jamestown out of the fourth inning leading 2-1, and the home team tacked on two more runs in the fourth behind an Erickson RBI single to center and a Hoyt sacrifice groundout.
But Minot wouldn't go quietly. The Metros scored four times in the fifth on three hits, two Jamestown errors and a walk. Minot sent 10 batters to the plate before Anderson picked off Minot's Calvin Baker leading off second with the bases loaded to end the inning.
"Errors are going to hurt you regardless, whether they capitalize on it or not," Sablan said. "I think moving forward if we can minimize the errors and keep having clean defense, we'll be pretty set."
Jamestown carried its walk-off momentum into Game 2, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after two innings on Minot starter Tyler Johnson. Johnson would fire four innings, allowing seven runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batter.
Nold broke out of an 0-for-3, Game 1 funk with an RBI single in the first inning. Gage Orr recorded an RBI double in Jamestown's four-run second, which also saw a two-run triple off the bat of Falk and an Anderson RBI double.
"We got more aggressive right away," Anderson said. "We started getting the bats going and just playing better baseball, even defensively. Good pitching helps."
Hoyt finished six scoreless innings with three strikeouts before turning the ball over in the seventh to Nold, who eventually struck out the side after loading the bases by allowing a hit and pair of walks.
"They got a couple hits and it started snowballing," said Minot Metros coach Dalton Cooper. "We're a very young team. A lot of us are only 15 and 16 years old and we haven't played at this level yet. So it's slowing the game down and understanding the situation."
Minot fell to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the West. The Metros have a win over the Mandan A's and a loss to the Watford City Walleye in the region.
"We've seen some good arms this year. We've been challenged and we've been close a lot of games," Cooper said. "For the most part, we've made other teams work to get us out, which is good to see right now. Especially with a younger group of guys, because as the year goes on they'll just continue to get better with that."
Jamestown ended the American Legion Class A regular season last July with a sweep of the Metros in Minot, before going 0-2 at the West Region tournament in Bismarck against the Dickinson Volunteers and the Bismarck Capitals to end the season.
Jamestown improved to 5-3 overall and 4-0 in the West.
The Eagles are scheduled to move away from Class A West Region play on Monday (June 15) hosting the Class AA Bismarck Governors for a doubleheader at Jack Brown Stadium beginning at 5 p.m. The Eagles return to region play at the Williston Oilers next Wednesday (June 17).
"The guys, one through nine today -- no matter who it was -- they were just ready to hit," Sablan said. "I think once they knew they could put some runs up on the board early it just fed the fire."
Jamestown Eagles 6, Minot Metros 5
MIN 001 040 0 -- 5 7 1
JAM 020 200 2 -- 6 6 4
Tyler Buchanan and Morgan Nygaard. Max Anderson, Nolan Nenow (7) and Tommy Falk. W--Nenow (1-0). L--Buchanan
Highlights: M, Tyler Budeau 1-4, R; Hunter Ruzicka 1-2, BB, R; Landyn Almy 1-2, RBI; Tyler Johnson 1-4, RBI; Calvin Baker 1-4, RBI; Aiden Stewart 1-4, R. J, Anderson 6 IP, 7 H, 1 SO, 5 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Chris Erickson 3-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB; Michael Mahoney 1-2, R, BB, SB; Mason Lunzman 1-2, R, 2 SB.
Records: Jamestown 4-3, 3-0 WR. Minot 3-4, 1-2 WR.
Jamestown Eagles 9, Minot Metros 0
JAM 240 030 0 -- 9 7 1
MIN 000 000 0 -- 0 5 1
Connor Hoyt, Jacoby Nold (7) and Tommy Falk. Tyler Johnson, Layton Ludwig (5) and Jayden Speraw. W--Hoyt (2-0). L--Johnson.
Highlights: J, Hoyt 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 SO, 0 BB; Nold 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 2 BB, 2-3, R, RBI, SB; Falk 1-3, 3B, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB; Max Anderson 2-4, 2B, R, RBI; Nolan Nenow 1-3, RBI; Gage Orr 1-3, 2B, R, RBI.
M, Johnson 4 IP, 7 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 SO, 3 BB; Ludwig 3 IP, 2 R, 2 SO, 1 H, 1 BB; Hunter Ruzicka 1-4; Landyn Almy 1-3, Calvin Baker 1-3, Jayden Speraw 1-2, BB; Carter Mowbray 1-3.
Records: Jamestown 5-3, 4-0 WR. Minot 3-5, 1-3 WR.