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Dave Selvig / Forum Communications Co., Published May 08 2010

DAC baseball: Repeat won’t come easy, Jimmies must get past 2 hot rivals

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – If Jamestown College is going to repeat as Dakota Athletic Conference baseball tournament champions, they’ll have to do it the hard way.

In a surprising development, fourth-seeded Dakota State and third-seeded Mayville State are the last two unbeatens after the opening round of the DAC tournament.

The Comets defeated Valley City State 14-3 and second-seeded Dickinson State 17-6 on Saturday in Mayville, while Dakota State got another gem from left-hander Jared Donahue, who shut down the Jimmies for the second time in two weeks in a 9-2 win at Jack Brown Stadium.

“I just really tried to get ahead (in the count),” the Trojans’ ace sophomore said. “They’re an intimidating team, so I just tried to be aggressive and execute my pitches.”

He did that in spades, beating the Jimmies for the second time in 14 days.

“He was in total control,” JC coach Tom Hager said. “He shut us down. You have to give him all the credit. We’ve had a lot of trouble against him the past couple of years.”

Donahue held the Jimmies to eight hits, and a pair of RBI singles from Jeremy Newman in the first inning and Griffin Sweazey in the fifth.

“I don’t think I did anything different than I normally try to do,” Donahue said. “You just try to give your team the best chance to win. ... It was a good day for us. We’re in the driver’s seat. Hopefully we can come out tomorrow and play well again.”

Brian White did most of the damage for Dakota State offensively. The senior second baseman hit three home runs on the day, two against the Jimmies. In all, he was 6-for-8 on the day with nine RBIs.

White’s solo home run in the top of the first in Game 2 gave the Trojans the lead.

The Jimmies answered with a solo run in the bottom of the frame. But Dakota State hung four on the board in the top of the second inning, and Donahue was dominant the rest of the way.

The Trojans opened with a 13-3 win over Minot State in seven innings in the first game of the day in Jamestown on Saturday.

Jamestown College (36-10) takes on Valley City State (8-38) at noon today in loser-out play. Dickinson State (29-18) and Minot State (21-29) follow, with the winners of the first two games to meet around 6 p.m., meaning either the top-seeded Jimmies or No. 2 Blue Hawks will be eliminated before Monday’s championship round.

“Our backs are against the wall, but we’re not dead yet,” Hager said. “We have to come out tomorrow focused and ready to play. We can’t leave anything in the tank.”

Mayville State (27-21) and Dakota State (24-18) meet in Mayville today at 1 p.m. in winner’s bracket play.

MSU 000 000 3– 3 8 3

Dakota 231 601 x–13 13 0

Friesen, Wik (4), Kallias (6) and Peters. Gassman and Figureoa. W–Gassman. L–Friesen. HR–DSU, White, Grundmann.

Dakota 140 210 010– 9 10 2

JC 100 010 000– 2 8 0

Donahue and Figueroa. Curtis, Hudson (4), Picotte (5), Watkins (9) and Sweazey. W–Donahue. L–Curtis. HR–DSU, White 2.

Dave Selvig is a writer for The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.