Aaron Kleven knew if he just held the fort the runs would come.
Come they did, eight of them, as Jamestown defeated the Bismarck Capitals 8-6 in the first game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader at Dwyer Field on Tuesday.
With the victory, West Region-leading Jamestown improved to 10-1 in the region. The Capitals leveled off at 6-6 in the region and dipped to 14-11 overall.
The Capitals bounced back to win the second game, 3-2.
The Capitals led 2-1 when Jamestown's offense erupted for a game-deciding seven runs in the fifth inning.
In what had been a game of deep counts, Post 14 batters began swinging early in the count to start the game-winning uprising. Kleven said that was just coincidental, however.
"We've been able to hit all year. It was just a matter of us busting out," he noted. "... I knew we'd break one (inning) open."
Kleven, batting ninth in the Jamestown lineup, opened the rally with a single to center field. That was the first of seven Post 14 hits in the inning, as 11 batters marched to the plate.
Isaac Mimong's two-run double was the most productive hit in the Jamestown rally, but Dawson Douty, Chris Erickson, Tommy Falk, Ethan McKenney and Kleven also knocked in runs.
Jamestown's strong Class A Legion season follows a 13-12 high school season in which Kleven went 2-3.
This summer he's 4-1, but he conceded Tuesday's victory was far from elegant. He went five innings, surrendered five hits, and was charged with five runs, all earned. He departed after five innings, having thrown 94 pitches, 49 of them strikes.
"I didn't throw that well. I had a lot of walks, but just got the job done," he said. "... My stuff wasn't there. I was trying to do too much. I was trying to throw gas to everybody. I had to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. Then I started pounding the (strike) zone."
Michael Mahoney and Erickson finished up on the hill for Post 14, with Erickson earning a save.
Josh Kolling, the Capitals starter, who was charged with all eight Jamestown runs, took the loss, his first in four decisions.
Reese Trottier drove in two of the six Capital runs with a pair of singles. Matt Miller doubled in two runs and scored once.
Kleven said the difference between Jamestown's break-even high school season and region-leading Legion season is offense, pure and simple.
"It's mainly our hitting. This spring we didn't hit that well, so our emphasis this summer has been to hit. ... We know we don't have the pitching we've had in previous years, so the emphasis is on hitting," he said.
The Capitals return to action on Thursday, playing host to Beulah in a West Region doubleheader. Jamestown plays again today, visiting Minot for two games with the Metros.