Jamestown News
Wed, May. 14, 2014 - [Baseball]
News Photo

Host:  Tabor College:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Tournament Information on the following link:

Tournament Page:  Click Here!

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Thursday, May 15 - Session IV

       Game 8 – Championship Final:  Tabor 5, Viterbo 1 - Tabor advances to NAIA World Series

 

   

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Above article courtesy of Jamestown Sun

sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/15/14

Cruising along through five innings, the wheels came off suddenly in the sixth for the Jimmie baseball team.

Leading 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the University of Jamestown endured an inning like few others as Viterbo University of Wisconsin scored 11 runs and went on to an 11-4 win in loser-out play at the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round in Hutchinson, Kansas, on Wednesday night.

 

"In baseball we say all the time that strange things have a tendency to happen, but in 19 years of coaching, I've never seen anything like it," said head coach Tom Hager. "We score all of our runs in one inning, and then they score 11 runs all in the same inning. It was incredible.

"Once the ball got rolling for them, we just couldn't stop it."

 

After opening the tournament on Monday with a 6-2 win over 12th-ranked Doane College (Iowa), the Jimmies fell to No. 10 and tournament host Tabor College 4-0 on Tuesday before Viterbo, seeded fifth out of five in the tournament, continued its run of hot play.

 

The V-Hawks (34-19) won their fourth game of the tournament in five outings and play Tabor today at 9:30 a.m. in the championship round. They'd have to beat the Bluejays twice to advance to the NAIA World Series next week in Lewiston, Idaho.

"(Viterbo) is playing extremely well right now. They're definitely hot at the right time," Hager said.

 

It was a bitter ending to another strong season for the 22nd-ranked Jimmies (36-10), although Hager was able to put it in perspective.

"Don't get me wrong this hurts right now because we all thought we had the type of team that was capable of making a real run at it," he said. "But if this is the worst thing that happens to our players, they'll all go on to have very good lives.

"There's a lot of special people involved with this team from the coaching staff to our players and it was a really good season. In time we'll be able to look back on it and realize that this team did accomplish a lot, but it's a hard pill to swallow right now."

 

The Jimmies got their crooked number first.

After Erik Peterson scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning when a throw to home hit him in the back, Marcus Blackmon followed with a double to score Paul Sitkowski and Spencer Flaten for a 3-0 lead. Blackmon was thrown out rounding second. But Dylan Lafrentz was up next and he singled to right to bring in Mitch Stevens for a 4-0 lead.

 

It stayed 4-0 until the marathon bottom-of-the-sixth. It actually started quietly as Kyle Shaikoski got the leadoff hitter on a strikeout swinging. But the next man walked, an error followed and the flood gate opened. When it was over, 16 V-Hawks came to the plate, 11 scored on seven hits with the help of three Jimmie errors.

After Shaikoski was pulled, Ryan Sheeley had a rare off outing and did not retire any of the six batters he faced. In all, six pitchers were used before Nick Smart finally got the third out on the 16th batter of the inning.

"A big part of our recipe for success has been for Sheeley to come in and get us out of a jam. Today, he left a couple of balls over the plate and (Viterbo) took advantage," Hager said. "It certainly doesn't diminish the season Ryan had. He did a great job for us all season."

 

The V-Hawks finished with 13 hits, just two more than the Jimmies, but they stranded eight runners and had another thrown out at home.

 

Blackmon went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Jimmies. Lafrentz, Nolan Skowronek and Rudy Strnad added two hits each. Strnad also stole his 24th base of the season.

 

"Today is tough and not the ending we wanted obviously, but this was a really good group of guys both on and off the baseball field," Hager said. "They represented our university the right way."

 

Records: Viterbo 34-19; Jamestown 36-10.

 

Above article courtesy of Jamestown Sun sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/15/14

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#10 Tabor (Kan) 4, #22 Univ Jamestown 0

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - Hutchinson, Kansas

Article Below courtesy of Jamestown Sun, Dave Selvig, 5/14/14

The Jimmies were not fretting their national-tournament loss on Tuesday.

A few assistant coaches went golfing, head coach Tom Hager went to a buffet to eat, and the players, well …

"With some teams you think maybe you should get them up and do something. With this group, I just let them go," Hager said. "I know at 5 p.m. (Wednesday) they'll be ready to play nine innings."

 

The 22nd-ranked Jimmies ran into an ace on Tuesday. It ended in a 4-0 loss to 10th-ranked Tabor College at Hutchinson, Kansas. Hard-throwing Jacob Webb fired a four-hit shutout to hand the University of Jamestown its first loss of the tournament and just ninth of the season in 45 games.

"When a guy has the numbers (Webb) does, it's for a reason. He has very good velocity and as the game went on he was able to locate his offspeed stuff and that makes it pretty tough," Hager said. "He was better than us today. That happens sometimes. Our job now is to bounce back and be ready to roll against whoever we face tomorrow."

 

The Jimmies play the winner of the Mayville State/Viterbo 1 p.m. game today. The Comets ousted 12th-ranked Doane 1-0 Tuesday morning. Mayville State did not have a hit in the game until the ninth inning when it scored the game-winning run.

 

Tanner Dahl was solid for the Jimmies on the mound. The sophomore from West Fargo held the 48-11 Bluejays scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when the host team struck with two outs.

 

On a 1-2 pitch, Keenan Chanin tripled into the right-field corner to score the first two runs of the game. Pete Lelich followed with a bloop single to make it 3-0.

 

The Jimmies loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning on a walk to Rudy Strnad, single by Erik Peterson and another walk to Landon Uetz, but Webb got Paul Sitkowski to ground out to third to end the threat.

"Against pitchers of that caliber you aren't going to get a lot of opportunities to score usually and so when you do you have to take advantage of them, but we didn't do that today," Hager said. "We just couldn't muster up any runs against a really good pitcher."

 

Dahl allowed three runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

"I thought Tanner did a nice job. He gave us a quality start," Hager said.

 

Nolan Skowronek, Peterson, Spencer Flaten and Mitch Stevens had hits for the Jimmies.

 

Catcher Marcus Blackmon threw out two runners on the bases, giving him four in the tournament.

 

Hager compared the situation to when the Jimmies opened the season with a loss to No. 6 York University, then rebounded to beat York the next day.

"We have to erase this game from our memory. One day doesn't define a team," Hager said. "We have to come back tomorrow, win that game and hopefully get to Thursday and give ourselves a chance."

 

Tabor gets today off and awaits which of the three one-loss team survives play on Wednesday.

Article above courtesy of Jamestown Sun sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/14/14

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Jimmies 6, Doane 2

Monday, May 12, 2014 - Hutchinson, Kansas

Courtesy of Jamestown Sun sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/13/14

Doane College opened the door, and the Jimmies walked through.

The University of Jamestown took advantage of six errors by the 12th-ranked Tigers en route to a 6-2 win in Hutchinson, Kansas on Monday.

"It's nice to get the tournament off on the right foot," said Jimmie head coach Tom Hager. "We were able to take advantage of the mistakes they made and that's what good teams do."

 

The 22nd-ranked Jimmies (36-8) move into the semifinals of Opening Round play at the Tabor College site of the NAIA national tournament. The Jimmies  play 10th-ranked host Tabor today at 12:30 p.m.

 

The top-seeded Bluejays (47-11) defeated Viterbo, Wisconsin 3-2 in the late game Monday. Viterbo opened the tournament with a 7-0 win over Mayville State.

 

The miscues started early for Doane as two errors led to a run in the top of the first inning. The Jimmies capitalized on two more Tiger errors in the third inning as Landon Uetz and Paul Sitkowski had RBI singles to make it 3-0.

 

The Jimmies eventually knocked out Doane ace Elliott Engle, who entered the game 9-1 with a 0.61 earned run average in  59 innings.

 

Two more runs in the top of the seventh seemed to put the game out of reach as reliever Ryan Sheeley sailed through 4 1/3 dominant innings without giving up a run. He entered in the fifth and got the Jimmies out of a jam. From there, the sophomore from Wahpeton allowed just two singles and struck out four. Sheeley improved to 7-1 with the win.

"After he got us out of the jam in the sixth he just cruised," Hager said. "He did the same thing he's been doing for us all season. He threw the ball great again."

 

Mitch Stevens had an RBI double in the top of the seventh, one of three hits for the senior from Wheaton, Illinois.

"It was good to see him get going again," Hager said of Stevens. "That double in the seventh allowed us to relax, a little."

Nolan Skowronek drove home Stevens later in the seventh to make it 6-2. Skowronek finished 2-for-5.

 

Jason Shaw started for the Jimmies and didn't allow a run through the first four innings, but ran into some trouble in the fifth before Sheeley put out the fire.

"He gave us a good start. He had some things go against him in the fifth inning, but he did a solid job for us," Hager said of Shaw.

 

In the opening game on Monday, Mayville State was blanked by Viterbo pitcher Ben O'Reilly.

The Comets were limited to three singles in the game. They'll face Doane at 9:30 a.m. this morning in a loser-out game.

 

Records: Jamestown 36-8; Doane 42-10.

Courtesy of Jamestown Sun sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/13/14

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NAIA Opening Round Preview

Article below courtesy of Dave Selvig, Jamestown Sun, 5/12/14

As national tournament draws go, the University of Jamestown baseball team did about as well as it could have hoped.

 

The Jimmies' five-team Opening Round bracket does feature two top 12 teams, but host Tabor College is the highest ranked club at No. 10. Doane College of Nebraska, which the No. 22 Jimmies (35-8) play first, is ranked 12th, but the Tigers have losses to Mayville State and Dickinson State on their 42-9 record.

However, Doane did run the table in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, going 20-0.

Mayville State (40-14) and Viterbo, Wisconsin (31-18) round out the field, which begins play today in Hutchinson, Kansas. The winner of the double-elimination tournament advances to the 10-team NAIA World Series.

 

Host teams have a decided advantage in getting to the World Series. Since the new format begin in 2009, 23 of 36 host teams have advanced to Lewiston, Idaho, but the Jimmies are happy to play the odds.

"As coaches, we see this as the fun part of our job. And for the players, it's one of the best times of their lives," UJ coach Tom Hager said. "We're very excited about the opportunity. We have a chance to do something special."

 

The Jimmies have been to the World Series twice before in 2004 and 2007, but that was before the new format began.

This is the first time the Jimmies have not had a top 5 team at their site, although nobody is suggesting a cakewalk is to ensue.

"There's no question that if you get to this stage of the season, all of the teams are good," Hager said.

 

The Jimmies are 5-1 against Mayville State, but have not played any of the other teams in the field. It's also the first time they'll be playing at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson, a 675-mile drive from Jamestown.

The Jimmies practiced in Hutchinson on Sunday in temperatures that soared into the low 90s, about 40 degrees better than back home.

"We were on the field for less than two hours and I think I got sunburned," Hager said.

 

The diamond was a bit soggy Sunday from rain on Saturday and the forecast calls for more precipitation today, although with the spring the Jimmies have endured, little will faze them.

"It's exciting to be playing somewhere new. It's a unique experience for all of us," Hager said.

 

The Jimmies and Tigers play at 4 p.m. today. Mayville State plays the opening game and top-seeded Tabor plays the nightcap against the Comets/Viterbo winner.

Doane has been carried by its pitching staff. It boasts a 2.39 earned run average.

The Jimmies' ERA is 3.68. They are hitting .337 as a team, but lack the power of most highly-ranked teams.

"This might not be the most talented team we've had, or hit the most home runs, but they've found a way to win ballgames," Hager said. "When you get to this point there's no reason to change anything. We just need to be who we are and hopefully find a way to keep doing the things that have gotten us to this point."

Courtesy of Jamestown Sun sports editor Dave Selvig, 5/12/14

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NAIA National Tournament

Opening Round

Hutchinson, Kansas site

 

Monday's schedule

Game 1: No. 4 Mayville State (40-14) vs. No. 5 Viterbo, Wisconsin (31-18), 12:30 p.m.

     Final:  Viterbo 7, Mayville State 0

Game 2: No. 3 University of Jamestown (35-8) vs. No. 2 Doane, Nebraska (42-9), 4 p.m.

     Final:  UJ 6, Doane 2

Game 3: Viterbo (Game 1 winner) vs. No. 1 Tabor College, Kansas (46-11), 7:30 p.m.

      Final:  Tabor 3, Viterbo 2

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Tuesday Games

9:30 am:  Game #4 .... Mayville State (40-15)  vs Doane (42-10),

       Final:  Mayville State 1, Doane 0 (run in bottom of the ninth) - Doane eliminated.

1:00 pm:  Game # 5 ... Tabor (47-11)  vs University of Jamestown (36-8)

       Final:  Tabor 4, Jamestown 0

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Wednesday, May 14 – Session III

       Game 6 – Mayville State (41-15) vs. No. 5 Viterbo University (32-19) --- 1 p.m.

Final - Viterbo 12, Mayville State 3 - Comets eliminated

        Game 7 – University of Jamestown (36-9) vs. Viterbo (33-19) --- 5:00 p.m.

Final - Viterbo 11, Jamestown 4 - Jimmies finish with 36-10 record

Thursday, May 15 - Session IV

       Game 8 – Tabor (48-11) vs. Viterbo (34-19) --- 9:30 a.m.

Final - Tabor 5, Viterbo 1 - Tabor advances to NAIA World Series