VALLEY CITY, N.D.-Nail-biters have been the norm between the University of Jamestown and Mayville State through the years.
This season has been no different, so the Comets 5-3 win over the Jimmies on Tuesday in the North Star Athletic Association tournament championship game was par for the course. It was the sixth game between the two teams this season. Each won three. The run count? Mayville scored 27 times, Jamestown 25. None of the six games were decided by more than two runs.
"Games like this are pretty much the way it always is between these two teams" said legendary Mayville State coach Scott Berry. "Jamestown has been playing just terrific. To beat Bellevue twice like they did was amazing. This was another really good game. I'm really proud of our kids for finding a way to pull it out."
With the win, the Comets (46-10) clinched a spot in the NAIA national tournament. The Jimmies (40-19) will have to wait until Thursday to see if they get an at-large bid.
Mayville rallied for three runs in seventh inning to wipe out a 3-2 deficit. The Comets started the improbable three-run rally with two outs and nobody on.
Mayville State got three consecutive run-scoring singles in the bottom of the seventh, one each by Jonathan Folena, Brady Nygaard and Dondrei Hubbard.
The Jimmies did not go quietly. In the ninth, Landon Uetz singled to start the inning, but pinch runner Taichi Sasaki was thrown out trying to steal second on a bang-bang play. With two outs, Hubbard robbed Vince Sablan of a solo homer to left field, but the ball caromed out of Hubbard's glove, allowing Sablan to reach second with a double. But Mayville State closer Kalton Agnes got Quinn Irey to ground out to short to end the game. Agnes, a former Langdon standout, and Conner Starke combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
"Obviously, it's a great feeling for us to beat a great team like (Jamestown) and win a conference championship, said Agnes.