Jamestown Rallies Past Glens Falls

Jamestown’s Brandon Nania celebrates his solo home run during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game against Glens Falls at Diethrick Park. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

After being swept in a doubleheader at Geneva on Monday, the Jamestown Jammers couldn’t afford to lose a third straight game Wednesday night.

With a seventh-inning rally, they made sure they didn’t.

Jamestown took advantage of three walks, an error and a hit batter to score three runs and come from behind to beat the Glens Falls Dragons, 8-5, at Diethrick Park.

The win pushed the Jammers to 21-9 overall, including 17-1 at home, as they maintained their eight-game lead over second-place Geneva in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division.

“They’re a really good team. They beat us up at their place. We knew coming back home that we wanted to get this one,” Jammers manager Anthony Barone said. “Anytime you can beat a team from the other side of the state it shows a little bit about yourself. I thought tonight we had a really good, tough performance.”

Jammers second baseman Rashad Stewart catches a fly ball. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

Alex O’Donnell and Brandon Nania hit back-to-back singles to open the seventh inning before both runners moved up on a Ben Livorsi groundout. With Dailin Lee at the plate, O’Donnell scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Lee was hit by a pitch.

With one out and runners at first and third, Rashad Stewart hit a hard groundball to third. Nania was caught off the base and tagged out for the second out, but the Glens Falls catcher then made an errant flip toward third base attempting to throw out Lee. The Glens Falls left fielder got to the ball, but his throw home short-hopped the pitcher, who was covering the plate, allowing Lee to score the go-ahead run.

“That’s sort of the baseball we play. We’re not always hitting home runs and driving gaps,” Barone said. “We work for walks and little things like that to get innings jump-started.”

The Jammers then loaded the bases before Josh Brammell walked to force in another run and make it 7-5.

Nania added another insurance run in the eighth inning when he crushed a ball to the opposite field, off the old scoreboard.

Jamestown relief pitcher Ryan Boyer delivers to the plate during Wednesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game against Glens Falls at Diethrick Park. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

“That was awesome. That was a really good swing he put on that ball,” Barone said. “That’s a pro swing, going opposite field here.”

The rally made a winner out of Colin Johnston, who threw a perfect seventh inning for Jamestown. J.J. Dunn allowed a hit and struck out a batter in the eighth before Ryan Boyer earned his second save with a pair of strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning.

“With (Clay) Schwaner gone, Johnston is going to move into that role as a setup guy. He was our closer last year so he’s really familiar with late-inning stuff,” Barone said. “That was textbook, Johnston to Dunn to Boyer.”

The Jammers jumped on top early with a three-run second inning off Glens Falls starter Mitch Guerrieri. Nania walked to open the frame before advancing to second on Lee’s one-out single. An error allowed Stewart to load the bases before Jeremy Hassell hit into an RBI fielder’s choice on which the Dragons did not record an out. Chris Rubottom followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Glens Falls tied the game in the top of the fourth inning off Jamestown starter Connor Ryan. Phoenix Hernandez hit a one-out single and stole second before scoring when Josh Arndt reached on an error. One pitch later, Zach Fritz hit a long two-run home run to left field.

Jammers shortstop Alex O’Donnell throws to first base. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

“He’s a changeup guy so once in a while … he left that one up,” Barone said of Ryan.

The Jammers took the lead back in their half of the fourth as Hassell led off with a single and scored on Chase Keng’s two-out RBI double on an 0-2 pitch.

Ryan got into trouble again in the top of the sixth inning as Hernandez singled with one out and Arndt walked on a close 3-2 pitch that resulted in Jamestown pitching coach Hayden Carter being ejected after having words with the home-plate umpire.

“Connor was good. He pitched well with the lead,” Barone said. “He commanded the strike zone, but defensively we didn’t help him either.”

Sterling Hayes relieved and struck out Fritz for the second out before his 2-2 pitch to Matt Hamel just missed prior to another walk. Andrew Stanley followed with a two-run double to shallow center field to give the Dragons a 5-4 lead.

“I thought he was fine. We told him to give us a chance to win, and he did that,” Barone said of Hayes. “We were only down a run after that. I thought Sterling did a good job with damage control that inning.”

Jamestown will look to build on its impressive home record when Geneva visits tonight at 7:05 p.m. Christian Young will be on the mound for the Jammers.

NOTES: Keng, Nania and Lee each had two hits for Jamestown while Hernandez was 3 for 4 for Glens Falls. … Michael Nunez took the loss for the Dragons, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings.