Jamestown College used a pair of Nebraska Wesleyan errors to overcome a one-run deficit and earn the 7-6 victory in 11 innings in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament on Tuesday morning (May 12) at Lewis & Clark Park in Sioux City, Iowa.
NWU had gone ahead 6-5 in the top of the 11th inning when Cory Hilgenkamp led off the inning with a blast over the left field wall. However, the Prairie Wolves did not record an out in the bottom of the 11th to suffer the heartbreaking loss.
Jamestown (26-9) led off with an infield single, then on the sacrifice attempt a NWU throwing error allowed runners on first and second with no outs. The next batter grounded to short and the run was conceded, but a throwing error left everybody safe. After an intentional walk to load the bases. The Jimmies hit a grounder to short, but the throw home was late and the game was over.
Zane Cascini got the start for the Prairie Wolves and threw a gem for NWU. He pitched nine innings striking out four and walking just one. The one walk was with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
With the game tied at 4-4 headed to the eighth inning, Max Hubka had a one out single. Josh Ostrom then gave the Prairie Wolves the lead with a gapper to left center field to drive in the pinch runner Mitch Hain with the go-ahead run.
NWU looked to have the game won after retiring the side in the 8th and getting the first two outs in the 9th. Then with two strikes, the Jamestown batter hit a sinking line drive to right field that looked to be caught by Brady Beckman, but the umpire said it bounced. Then Cascini walked the next batter, and Erik Church drove in the tying run.
NWU had just one hit through the first seven innings and that was a two-run single by Tyler Stephenson in the second inning. The Prairie Wolves jumped ahead 2-0 after the first, using a hit batter, walk, wild pitch and passed ball to score.
The Prairie Wolves had just four total hits in the game, struck out 14 times and committed five errors in the game yet still led most of the game and were only one strike away from the win.
The Prairie Wolves with play Fresno Pacific Wednesday morning at 10 am in an elimination game.
follow the NAIA tournament. Story courtesy of NWU athletics.