Walk-Off Win

Conley’s Base Hit In 10th Sends Jammers To Win Over Saugerties

Jamestown’s Skyler Valentine makes contact during Thursday night’s season-opening Perfect Game Collegiate League game at Diethrick Park. P-J photos by Cody Crandall

Last summer, Christ Conley enjoyed a tremendous season playing for the Jamestown Jammers.

In fact, the Canisius College product was named a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star thanks to stellar play on the diamond.

And his second campaign with the Jammers couldn’t have started much better Thursday night.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, Conley ripped a 2-0 pitch into right field for a walk-off base hit, sending the Jammers to a 5-4 victory over the Saugerties Stallions at Diethrick Park.

“You know, we had one out, bases loaded, so anything in play away from fielders keeps us out of the double play and wins the ballgame,” Conley said following his game-winning single. “You’ve just got to stay relaxed, get a pitch you can handle and obviously with the 2-0 count there, I was looking for a small zone to hit and (the pitcher) put it there. … Playing here last summer was great. Just living here, playing here for the summer made me feel at home so I wanted to come back.”

Christ Conley, right, is greeted by teammate John Conti after his game-winning hit in the bottom of the 10th inning. P-J photos by Cody Crandall

The stage was set for Conley following a single from Skyler Valentine (University of Texas at San Antonio) and walks to both Alex O’Donnell (Mercyhurst University) and Ben Brookover (University of Texas at San Antonio).

Jamestown actually trailed, 2-0, until the bottom of the seventh and left the bases loaded in the both the third and fourth innings.

But, the Jammers finally found a way to break through in the seventh and put up a four-spot on the scoreboard to take a 4-2 advantage.

The offensive outburst was highlighted by an RBI groundout from Conley, a run-scoring single from Chris Estrada (University of Texas at San Antonio), an RBI double from Connor Rule (Kansas State University) and an RBI single from Nick Bernick (Niagara University).

“The beginning of the game, I think we left a total of 10 men (on base) in the first six innings or something like that,” Jammers head coach Anthony Barone said. “We just kept confident and our guys kept grinding and having good at-bats. … Just timely hits. It was a great team effort tonight.”

Saugerties was able to tie the game in the top of the ninth courtesy of clutch RBI singles from Nick Campana and Connor Moroder, but the Stallions were unable to end up stealing a win.

Bradley Griggs (University of Texas at San Antonio) got the start on the mound for the Jammers and worked 5.2 innings while striking out four and surrendering two runs. Colin Johnston (Monroe Community College), Connor Ryan (Mercyhurst University) and Casey Vincent (St. Bonaventure University) saw time out of the bullpen as well.

“When we’re struggling offensively to score runs, the approach is to just keep putting up zeroes,” Barone stressed. “The pitching staff, Griggs, Johnston, Ryan and then Vincent, they did a great job just sort of battling. Griggs probably would say he didn’t have his best stuff, but 5.2 and two runs, he kept us in the game.”

At the plate for the Jammers, Brookover ended up with three hits while Rule, Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst University) and Bernick all contributed two hits.

The Jammers, who are off tonight, will be back in action Saturday at Diethrick Park against the Geneva Red Wings. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

“You can see I have a big smile on my face,” Barone said. “I’m really happy. It’s not for me, but it’s for the boys. They come here and the first home game here in Jamestown they get to experience a walk-off win by one of our leaders, Christ Conley. It’s a cool thing. I’m really proud of the guys.”


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