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Dave Selvig / Forum Communications Co., Published May 13 2010

DAC baseball: Mayville captures crown

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – What Mayville State started on Monday, it finished in style Wednesday.

The Comets polished off a surprising run through the Dakota Athletic Conference baseball tournament with an emphatic two-part title game victory over Jamestown College, sealing a spot in the NAIA national tournament, with a 12-4 win over the Jimmies.

The Comets built a 5-0 lead Monday, only to have rain suspend and then push back the second half of the game until Wednesday as Jack Brown Stadium dried out after a week of persistent precipitation.

When and where the game was played almost seemed irrelevant for the Comets (29-21), who looked like a team of destiny.

“Boy, I sure didn’t see this coming, but it’s an awfully neat experience for these kids and our team,” said Mayville State coach Scott Berry, whose team went 4-0 in the tournament, outscoring their opponents 53-20. “This one might take some time to soak in, but it’s a great achievement for our team. We were able to beat some awfully good baseball teams.”

It was a tough pill to swallow for the Jimmies, but they appeared to get some good news after the ballpark had emptied out.

While not set in stone, they’re in pretty good shape for an at-large bid in the national tournament. They’re ranked 28th in the final NAIA poll, which was released Wednesday.

Teams traditionally inside the top 30 earn at-large bids. The tournament pairings will be released Friday, but they should learn their fate one way or the other tonight.

“Obviously, we would have liked to have taken care of business ourselves, but that being said, we’ve won 39 games and won a regular-season championship,” Jimmies coach Tom Hager said. “If that’s not enough, well, I’m not sure what else we could have done.”

The Jimmies (39-11) cut the Mayville State lead to 5-2 in the bottom of th eighth.

But the Comets had a resounding answer, sending 10 batters to the plate in the top of the ninth. Seven of them scored, capped by Derek Howerton’s three-run blast, his third of the tournament.

Mayville 004 001 007–12 16 3

Jamestown 000 000 022– 4 7 2

Hirchert, Jones (6) and Braun, Tomblin (6). Grubb, Wilson (6), Iliff (7), Boldt (7), Hudson (9), Picotte (9) and Sweazey. W–Hirchert (7-4). L–Grubb (6-2). S–Jones (3). HR–MSU, Howerton (11). JC, Tim Penner (2).

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