Game 1
Game 2
Valley City State
University of Jamestown
VCSU junior Emmanual Leyva rounds third base and digs for home as coach Casey Olney waves him in. (Mark Potts/VCSU)
VCSU junior Emmanual Leyva rounds third base and digs for home as coach Casey Olney waves him in. (Mark Potts/VCSU)
Baseball - Sat, Apr. 29, 2017
Final - Game 1123456789RHE
Valley City State (N.D.)200001001462
Jamestown (N.D.)101132000872
Valley City State (N.D.)PitchingJamestown (N.D.)
-Winner Byndloss, Jerome
Van Vacter, JacobLoser-
Valley City State (N.D.)Indv. StatsJamestown (N.D.)
NoneDoubles #29 Ludlow, Tyler
NoneTriples None
NoneHome Runs #29 Ludlow, Tyler
Final - Game 21234567RHE
Valley City State (N.D.)1000101362
Jamestown (N.D.)1010000231
Valley City State (N.D.)PitchingJamestown (N.D.)
Koprek, MaxWinner-
-Loser Evans, Eric
Velarde, StevenSave-
Valley City State (N.D.)Indv. StatsJamestown (N.D.)
3 PlayersDoubles #6 Sasaki, Taichi
NoneTriples None
NoneHome Runs None

VALLEY CITY – The Valley City State baseball team maintained its grip on the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament after battling to a doubleheader split Saturday with rival University of Jamestown.

The Vikings scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded passed ball in the top of the seventh inning, and then Steven Velarde pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to close out a thrilling 3-2 victory in game two Saturday. University of Jamestown won game one of the doubleheader, 8-4.

The doubleheader was played in Valley City due to issues with Jamestown's field on Saturday. The Jimmies were the home team for both games. Sunday's doubleheader will be played in Jamestown at 12 p.m.

Valley City State moves to 25-21 overall and 18-4 in conference play. The Vikings enter the final conference games on Sunday with a one-game lead on Mayville State for second place in the NSAA standings. VCSU needs one win Sunday to clinch the No. 2 seed for the postseason. Mayville State is playing University of Winnipeg in the final games Sunday. VCSU is guaranteed to finish no lower than third in the NSAA standings after Saturday's split. Bellevue clinched the outright conference championship after sweeping Waldorf University on Saturday.

Jamestown is now 34-17 overall and 15-7 in conference play. The Jimmies are currently fourth in the standings.

Up next: The Vikings and Jimmies close out conference play Sunday with a 12 p.m. doubleheader at University of Jamestown.


Game 1: University of Jamestown 8, VCSU 4
Tyler Ludlow's 3-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning broke open a tight game one as Jamestown opened the doubleheader with an 8-4 victory.

The Vikings struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Jamestown chipped away with single runs in the first and third innings, and then took a 3-2 lead with a run in the fourth. Ludlow's 3-run bomb in the fifth gave Jamestown a commanding 6-2 lead.

Jamestown starting pitcher Jerome Byndloss went six innings for the win, giving up three hits, one earned run and seven strike outs. VCSU's Jacob VanVacter took the loss after allowing six hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Tyler Olson and Andrew Hirsch both pitched in relief for VCSU, including two scoreless innings by Hirsch.

Ludlow led the Jimmie offense with a 4-for-4 game, hitting two home runs and driving in seven runs. The Jimmies collected seven total hits and committed two errors.

Nate Bagby had two hits for VCSU, and Brady Anderson went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. VCSU had six hits and committed a pair of errors. The loss snapped a 9-game winning streak for VCSU.


Game 2: VCSU 3, University of Jamestown 2
Valley City State won a thrilling game two on Saturday, rallying from a 2-1 deficit with runs in the fifth and seventh innings.

The Jimmies built a 2-1 lead after three innings, but were shut down by Viking pitching and defense the rest of the way.

Jared Meiklejohn's two-out single in the top of the fifth inning scored Emmanuel Leyva from second base to tie the game at 2-2. Jamestown threatened to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning after putting runners on second and third with no outs, but Viking starter Andrew Frank was up to the task and pitched out of the inning with a line-out, strikeout and pop up.

The Vikings threatened in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one out. Jamestown reliever Eric Evans worked out of the jam by striking out Leyva and Nate Soulis to preserve the 2-2 tie.

In the bottom of the sixth it was Max Koprek's turn to pitch out of trouble. The VCSU junior right-hander came on in relief of Frank with one out and a runner at second base. Koprek got a groundout and strike out to end the threat.

VCSU finally broke through in the top of the seventh despite not recording a hit in the inning. After the first two batters were retired in order, the Vikings loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a fielder's choice. With Nate Bagby at the plate, Joe Demers came in to score on a passed ball for a 3-2 lead. The Vikings left the bases loaded again, but a one-run lead was all VCSU closer Steven Velarde would need. The senior right-hander came out throwing gas in the bottom of the seventh and set the Jimmies down 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

The Vikings had six hits in the game, three of which were doubles. Jared Meiklejohn and Ben Bruenjes both had a pair of hits, an RBI and a double. Brady Anderson picked up his 18th double of the season, setting a new season record at VCSU. That breaks the old record of 17 doubles in a season set by Scott Yates in 1988.
VCSU pitchers combined to allow just three hits in game two. Starter Andrew Frank worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs, one of which was earned. He walked four and struck out four.

Koprek and Velarde combined to pitch 1 2/3 perfect innings of relief. Koprek picked up the win – his third of the season – and Velarde earned his third save of the year.