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Dave Selvig / Forum Communications Co., Published May 11 2010

DAC baseball: Today: Title game is on,

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – For the second straight day, the Dakota Athletic Conference baseball tournament was brought to a halt by rain.

Mayville State, unbeaten in the tournament at 3-0, is just 4 innings away from a trip to the national tournament. They led Jamestown College 5-0 after 5½ innings when the game was suspended due to steady rain.

It will be resumed today at

1 p.m. If the Jimmies rally to win, a second championship game will be played following the conclusion of the first title game.

It was a long day for the Jimmies, who logged 23½ innings. They clubbed Dickinson State 14-4 in eight innings in the first loser-out game of the day and rallied past Dakota State 7-5 to advance to the championship round.

“I was proud of my guys for the way they fought all day,” Jamestown coach Tom Hager said. “We have four at bats tomorrow and we plan on making the most of them.”

Mayville State broke a scoreless game with four runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by Jake McLain’s bases loaded single, scoring Joe McLain and Mark Kuzyk. They added one more in the top of the fifth when Alex Berry looped a single into left that plated Kuzyk.

“Mayville State is a good team. We had dogfights with them during the season and they definitely came ready to play,” Hager said. “But we’re not dead yet. I know my team has a lot of fight left in them.”

Sam Hirchert, who spent his first two years at Jamestown College, limited the Jimmies to just three hits in five strong innings before the rain came.

In the first game of the day, Dickinson State scored first, but it was all Jimmies the rest of the way.

The tournament’s top seed scored 14 of the last 16 runs of the game to end the Blue Hawks’ season 14-4 in eight innings.

Keith Woelber and Jesse Ramirez spearheaded the Jimmies’ 14-hit attack.

Woelber’s 3-run home run in the bottom of the fourth was the decisive blow in the game. The Jimmies led 4-2 at the time, but the junior from Kennewick, Wash., sent a 1-0 pitch from Chase Doremus deep over the right-field wall to push the lead to 7-2.

Woelber had five RBIs in the game. He and Jesse Ramirez were each 3-for-4. Ramirez’s two-run shot in the bottom of the second answered Dickinson’s two-run top of the first.

“We felt like Woelber and Ramirez were tone-setters with the way they swung the bats,” Hager said. “We kept plugging away at the plate and played really well defensively and were able to beat a good team in Dickinson State.”

Kyle Montgomery and Jeremy Newman each added two hits. Montgomery singled in Newman to end it early by the 10-run rule.

Ryan Lucero worked seven strong innings on the mound, striking out six and allowing 10 hits. He left with the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the eighth. But reliever Chad Boldt entered and fanned leadoff hitter Liam Foran, and then induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Willie Sandez to end the threat.

“Ryan (Lucero) threw the baseball very well. He gave us exactly what we needed,” Hager said.

After building big leads in their first two tournament wins, the Jimmies had to rally to beat Dakota State, although it went down to the final at bat.

Down 7-5, the Trojans loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with 1 out and their 3 and 4 hitters due up.

But Boldt struck out Josh Tiede looking for the second out. Clean-up hitter Chance Hargrove was next and rolled a slow grounder up the middle, but shortstop Montgomery made a sparkling diving stab and flipped to second baseman Woelber to end the game.

The Jimmies trailed 5-3 after 7 innings, but rallied for 3 runs in the top of the eighth.

After Max Boe and Kyle Montgomery singled to start the inning, PJ Pina laid down a sacrifice bunt. Dakota State pitcher Nick Mutz fielded the ball cleanly, but his peg to third was wild and rocketed down the left field line, allowing Boe to score.

After Nick Meehan grounded out, Erik Church singled into left field to score Montgomery and Tim Penner to give the Jimmies a 6-5 lead.

The Jimmies tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Penner singled in Boe.

Boldt labored in the ninth, but wiggled out of trouble to get the win.

“Boldt showed a ton of guts for us today in getting a bunch of big outs,” Hager said. “He’s done that all year, so we weren’t surprised that he came up huge for us.”

Ryan Iliff started on the mound for the second straight game and gave the Jimmies 5Zc solid innings.

“Ryan’s done that for us all year. He’s a tough kid, a gutty kid. He went out there and battled and just did a great job for us in a really big game,” Hager said.

Jamestown 14, Dickinson State 4

DS 200 001 10– 4 10 1

JAM 200 403 05– 14 14 0

Doremus, Gonzalez (8) and Young. Lucero, Boldt (8) and Sweazey . W–Lucero. L–Doremus. HR–JAM, Ramirez, Woelber.

Jamestown 7, Dakota State 5

JAM 101 000 131– 7 10 1

DSU 000 003 200– 5 8 2

Iliff, Roers (6), Boldt (7) and Sweazy. Gassman, Mutz (5) and Figueroa. W–Boldt. L–Mutz. HR–JAM, Woelber.

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