Sometimes perfect doesn’t mean pretty.
The Bismarck Reps ran their Class A Senior Babe Ruth Baseball record to 11-0 with a sweep of Jamestown Monday at Haaland Field.
The teams had entered the night unbeaten in the conference. But Jamestown did enough wrong and the Reps just enough right to come away with wins of 5-3 and 8-6.
“That’s exactly right,” Reps coach Troy Olson said. “It reminded me of an early season doubleheader where there were a lot of mistakes happening. Some of that is because we didn’t have a spring season.”
Carson Motschenbacher ensured the Reps the sweep with a stellar defensive play with the bases loaded in the fourth, then a ringing two-run double to break a 4-4 tie in the fifth. He had a double in each game and scored three times in the nightcap.
Lucas Schell pitched 5 2/3 innings to earn the win in the opener, which featured nine hits and eight errors. Schell gave up three runs, one of which was earned. He struck out three and walked two before giving way to Caden Fischer, who got the save despite walking in a run in the sixth.
Ryan Keup had two hits for the Reps. Connor Hoyt and Tommy Falk each had two of the Eagles’ four hits. Jamestown made five errors in the field.
Ryan Keup added two more hits and scored two runs in the nightcap. More importantly, he came on in the sixth and struck out two batters with the bases loaded. It was the third time Jamestown left the bases loaded in game two, and they would load the bases and score twice in the seventh.
Noah Miedinger got the win in relief of Carter Klipfel. Hoyt took the loss for the Eagles.
The games weren’t as easy as the Reps’ first three conference games in which they scored 14, 14 and 12 runs. But they were easier than they should have been thanks to Jamestown miscues. They committed nine errors in the two games.
In the opener, a bad-hop double and an error in center field on the same play landed Motschenbacher on third. His hard-it ball to second bounced straight up over the head of Gage Orr and went into right-center.
Motschenbacher briefly stopped at second but saw Hoyt slip after retrieving the ball, so he went to third. But Max Anderson got the next two outs on a comebacker and grounder to snuff out the threat.
Hoyt made amends the next inning with a leadoff single. He went to second and then third on back-to-back fielding errors by shortstop Caden Fischer that loaded the bases.
Jacoby Nold plated a run on a flyout to center and Mason Lunzman executed a perfect suicide squeeze for a 2-0 lead.
It lasted a few minutes before Jamestown returned the favor.
Preston Bartsch doubled in Schell, who had reached second on shortstop Chris Erickson’s throwing error. Fischer advanced to third and came home on a throwing error by Orr to tie the game 2-2.
Bismarck scored three times in the fifth thanks to two more Jamestown errors.
The nightcap didn’t start any better for Jamestown. Left-fielder Isaac Mimong dropped a popup off the bat of Motschenbacher, who went to third on a bobbled infield single and scored on a balk by Hoyt.
In the second, Nold led off with a triple and scored on Lunzman’s single. Mimong then followed with a walk and went to second when catcher Miles Stiefel’s throw on a sac bunt pulled Motschenbacher off the bag at first. With two outs, Chris Erickson singled Mimong in for a 2-1 lead.
Joe LaDuke and Caden Fischer drove in runs for the Reps.
The fourth inning epitomized the strange night for Jamestown. The battery of Hoyt and Falk and Max Anderson singled to start the inning.
Hoyt was dead at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch that hit the umpire and rolled just a few feet. Falk was then thrown out at home trying to score on a groundball to short. Lunzman walked to load the bases before Mimong hit a grounder to short for the final out.
That was three hits, a walk, a fielder’s choice and two bad base-running plays and the game stayed tied at 4-4.
All that came on the heels of a failed suicide squeeze in the second and leaving the bases loaded in the third, courtesy of a great diving snare by Motschenbacher, who wasn’t finished.
The lanky first-baseman ripped a two-run double over the center fielder’s head to break the tie in the sixth and later scored on one of the Eagles’ four errors.
“That catch was just at the right time. That was clutch, man,” Olson said.
Erickson, Hoyt, Falk, Anderson, Ty Munson and Lunzman had two hits each for the Eagles, who outhit the Reps 12-8.
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