Comforts Of Home
Nania, Lee Shine As Jammers Improve To 18-1 At Diethrick Park
The Jamestown Jammers won another game at home Thursday night to improve to 18-1 at Diethrick Park on the season.
Now they’ll have to figure things out on the road.
Dailin Lee and Brandon Nania hit two-run doubles in a seven-run fifth inning as Jamestown pulled away from Geneva for a 12-5 victory in Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League West Division action at the Jammers’ friendly confines on Falconer Street.
“It’s a little crazy, but it’s all the players. I think they are comfortable here at Diethrick Park,” Jammers manager Anthony Barone said. “It says something, I guess. It’s an astounding record.”
Nania finished 3 for 5 with a double and four RBIs while Lee was 2 for 3 with two RBIs as the league leaders improved to 22-9 overall.
“Brandon’s been really good. We needed a middle-of-the-order guy and he struggled a little bit at the beginning of the year with that. He’s sort of taken that role,” Barone said. “What I like about it most is that he’s done a lof the damage with two strikes on him. He’s really worked on his approach since the beginning of the summer and is seeing some results.”
Jamestown will not play at home again until next Thursday night in a rematch with the Red Wings. The Jammers will finish a suspended game in Elmira today before playing another game against the Pioneers, then travel to Adirondack and Utica for games this weekend. They are just 4-8 in 12 road games this summer and have lost their last five away from Diethrick Park.
“The road’s been tough for us. We haven’t been playing our baseball when we go on the road,” Nania said. “I feel like we put a little more pressure on ourselves when we go into somebody else’s house to play them. We need to pick it up.”
Thursday night’s seven-run inning was more than enough run support for starter Christian Young, who threw six innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven and walking three.
“He’s really good. He’s been really competitive and he’s just going to get better and better I think,” Barone said. “He’s going to give us a chance to win every time he’s on the mound, which as a starting pitcher that’s all you can really ask for.”
With a 2-1 lead entering the fifth, Jamestown sent 13 batters to the plate and picked up four hits while taking advantage of six Geneva walks.
Sterling Hayes walked to open the inning, took second on a balk and third on a wild pitch before Jeremy Hassell walked. Josh Brammell then hit a sacrifice fly to score Hayes before Chase Keng doubled. Alex O’Donnell followed with a walk to load the bases ahead of Nania’s two-run double, which signaled the end of the night for Geneva starter Steve Branche.
“Right now, I’m just seeing everything pretty well. It kind of carried over from (Wednesday) night where I had a pretty good night,” said Nania, who homered in his final at-bat Wednesday. “I just wanted to stick with my approach working to all fields. I kind of struggled a little bit a few weeks ago and was kind of out of my approach. I’m feeling back into it and I’m seeing the ball pretty well.”
Red Wings reliever Chase Gearing walked the first batter he faced, Ben Livorsi, before Lee followed with a two-run double of his own. Rashad Stewart then walked to load the bases before a walk to Hayes forced in another run. Jeff Timko, who had pinch-ran for Hassell and was playing his first game since early in the summer, followed with an RBI single to plate the seventh run of the frame.
“Once we get some momentum going, if we get a leadoff guy on we know we’re definitely going to score him,” Nania said. ” … We try to put together some big innings like that.”
Brammell led off the game with a walk and stole two bases before later scoring on a groundout by Nania. After Geneva scored in the top of the second inning, Jamestown answered when Lee led off with a single and eventually scored on an RBI single by Hassell.
The Red Wings made it a 9-4 game with three runs in the top of the seventh inning, before the Jammers got one back in the bottom of the frame as Hayes hit a bloop one-out double and scored on another RBI single by Timko.
“He’s coming off a broken hamate bone where he had surgery and came back as soon as he could,” Barone said of Timko. “He loves baseball and brings a lot of energy to the team. … It’s almost like a second-half acquisition for us. It’s really important.”
Jamestown scored its final two runs in the eighth when O’Donnell walked and later scored on an RBI single by Nania. The Jammers first baseman eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Now Barone’s team will look to take the same offense on the road for four games before the league’s three-day all-star break starting Monday.
“The only way you are going to win a championship is if you can win on the road,” Barone said. “I think it’s a really important road trip before the all-star break.”
NOTES: Branche allowed seven runs on four hits and five walks while striking out six in 4 1/3 innings. … Kyle McCormick struggled in one-third of an inning on the mound for the Jammers, allowing three runs on four hits before Colin Johnston stopped the bleeding out of the bullpen. Zach Sanders threw the final inning for Jamestown and allowed a run on Jack Harris’ fourth home run of the season for Geneva.