Eagles show off patience in 16-3 mercy rule win over Gillette

·3 min read

Jul. 7—JAMESTOWN — In the last two games combined, the Jamestown Eagles worked 10 walks. That raised their season total to 65 walks as a team. The Eagles worked nine walks in six innings including seven in the fifth inning on their way to a 16-3 win over the Gillette Riders Wednesday, July 6, at Jack Brown Stadium.

"Our approach is getting better," Eagles head coach Sam Joseph said. "One of the things that kind of helped us, they weren't throwing strikes. They had pitchers that threw seven, eight balls in a row so we were able to be consistently patient with what we wanted and what we wanted to do up there. The guys just came out swinging today. That's really what it was. They came out with a good approach and hitting the ball well and having confidence up at the plate and that's what happened."

The Riders opened the scoring in the top of the first thanks to a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 game. That would be the last lead the team would have as Eagles starter Payton Hochhalter went five innings, giving up four hits, and three earned runs while striking out two. Hochhalter also responded to the top of the first by retiring the next six Riders in a row.

"I think I did pretty good but everybody else around me helped me to do better," Hochhalter said. "I knew my defense was behind me and we'd get a lot of outs."

The Eagles showed off their patience in a sign of things to come in the bottom of the second when they scored four runs on four walks, a single, and a sacrifice ground out to take a 4-2 lead.

One of the big turning points early in the game was the Eagles' response to giving up a run in the top of the fourth to cut their lead to 6-3. The Eagles turned to Connor Hoyt who turned on a ball and sent it over the right-field fence to stretch the lead out to 7-3.

"As soon as I was starting to get out of the box I had a feeling it was gone," Hoyt said. "It was 2-0 so I was looking anything inside and then he threw me a curveball inside and I turned and swung."

The Eagles tacked on nine runs in the bottom of the fifth including back-to-back run-scoring hit-by-pitches by Mason Lunzman and Preston Kroeber being the players to take one for the team to push the lead out to 15-3.

The lopsided margin allowed Joseph to empty his bench, which he said would've happened regardless of the scoreline.

"It didn't matter what the score was going to be today," Joseph said. "We wanted to get two (games) in but we ended up having just one nine. The goal was to get everybody playing going into the weekend."

The Eagles return to the diamond at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 8, when they open the Phil Brown Classic against Mandan.

GR 3, P14 16

GR: 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 — 3 8 2

P14: 0 4 2 1 9 0 X — 16 14 0

WP: Payton Hochhalter LP: Cason Loftus