Mayville State Wins NSAA Title, Clinches NAIA Tournament Berth
Mayville State scores 3 runs in the 7th inning to down Jamestown.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (VCSU Athletics) – Mayville State players came up clutch with four straight two-out hits in the seventh inning Tuesday as the Comets rallied for a 5-3 win over University of Jamestown in the NSAA Baseball Tournament championship game.
The Comets trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning but came storming back with a two-out rally that scored three runs. Of the four straight hits, the last three were RBI singles that gave the Comets a 5-3 lead. Kalton Agnes came on and pitched the eighth and ninth innings for a six-out save.
Mayville State (46-10) wins the NSAA Tournament and picks up an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round which will be played May 15-18 at nine sites across the country. The Jimmies (40-19) will have to wait and see if they’ve done enough to earn an at-large bid to the Opening Round. The Jimmies improved their resume during the tournament with a pair of wins against Bellevue University, the No. 2-ranked team in the country.
In Tuesday’s championship, each starting pitcher gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but from there Jamestown’s Jerome Byndloss and Mayville’s Camran Bonnema settled into an early pitcher’s duel. Each was making their second start of the tournament. Bonnema set down 11 in a row at one point as the teams played to a 1-1 tie through four and a half innings.
The Comets broke the 1-1 tie with a single run against Byndloss in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Zachary Schwieters opened the inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a single and then scored on a ground ball to second base for a 2-1 lead.
The Jimmies quickly answered in the top of the sixth as Alex Sablan led off with a pinch-hit home run to center field off Bonnema, tying the game at 2-2. Christian Shouman followed with a double to left-center, chasing Bonnema from the game. Shouman moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and then came in to score on a wild pitch by Mayville reliever Conner Starke, giving the Jimmies a 3-2 lead.
Mayville State regained the lead with a clutch two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh that featured four straight two-out hits. A two-out walk and single by Andrew Hill chased Jimmie starter Jerome Byndloss from the game. Chase Thometz came on in relief but could not stem the tide as Jonathan Folena and Brady Nygaard delivered RBI singles on back-to-back pitches, putting the Comets ahead 4-3. Dondrei Hubbard followed with the fourth straight hit, an RBI single off Nick Torres that gave the Comets a 5-3 advantage.
The Jimmies brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but Kalton Agnes picked up a pair of ground balls to close out the game and earn the two-inning save. Conner Starke earned the win for Mayville after pitching two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. Bonnema did not factor in the decision after going five innings and allowing four hits and three runs.
Byndloss took the loss for the Jimmies after being chased in the seventh. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs. He walked four and struck out eight.
Mayville State had eight hits in the game, including two each by Andrew Hill and Jonathan Folena.
Christian Shouman had a pair of hits to lead the Jimmie offense which collected seven total hits in the contest. Each team committed one error.
Up next: Mayville State (46-10) wins the NSAA Tournament and picks up an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round which will be played May 15-18 at nine sites across the country. The Jimmies (40-19) will have to wait and see if they’ve done enough to earn an at-large bid to the Opening Round. The Jimmies improved their resume during the tournament with a pair of wins against Bellevue University, the No. 2-ranked team in the country.