Jamestown (UJ) – Jimmie Baseball takes 2 from Morningside, Friday at Jack Brown Stadium in a Home Opener Series.

JAMESTOWN— The University of Jamestown baseball team had a successful home opener Friday, defeating Morningside (Iowa) College 5-4 and 6-2 at Jack Brown Stadium.

The sweep allowed Jamestown to gain ground on Great Plains Athletic Conference leader Concordia (Neb.), who was swept 7-1 and 5-3 by Northwestern (Iowa) College. UJ is now 27-13 overall and 16-6 in the GPAC, while Morningside falls to 22-15 and 10-11 in the GPAC.

The Jimmies are currently three games in back of the conference leading Bulldogs (20-4), and after Saturday’s doubleheader against Morningside, will finish the regular season with a four-game set on the road at Doane (Neb.) April 27-28. Concordia closes out the regular season April 26-27 by hosting Dordt (Iowa) College.

Game 1: Jimmies 5, Mustangs 4

Drake Pilat (SR/Winnipeg, MB, Canada)’s one-out single in the bottom of the seventh capped a three-run rally as Jamestown took game one 5-4.

The comeback started as Grant Okawa (JR/Mississauga, ON) singled and Zach Zurbrugg (SR/Bremerton, WA) reached on a walk. With one out and pinch-runner Braxton Hewitt (FR/Carrington, ND) replacing Zurbrugg, Jaden Yackley (SR/Lynnwood, Wash.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chase Hacker (JR/Millcreek, WA) followed with a double to right, scoring Okawa and Hewitt to cut the deficit to 5-4. Tanner Roundy (SR/Henderson, NV) was intentionally walked to load the bases again, then Pilat came through with the game winner.

Levi Davidson and Jordan Pierce hit back-to-back home runs leading off the second inning to stake the visitors to a 2-0 lead. Undaunted, the Jimmies answered with a pair of their own runs in the bottom half. Matt Meraz (JR/Aurora, CO) doubled in Pilat, and Okawa’s groundout to second brought home Lincoln Trujillo (JR/Cheyenne, WY) to make it 2-2.

The Mustangs scored once in the fourth and added another in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead.

Austin Pesicka (JR/West Linn, OR) (2-1) pitched three hitless innings in relief of starter Dakota Nelson (SR/Dallas, OR) to get the win. Pesicka retied eight of the nine hitters he faced, giving up just one walk. Nelson pitched four-plus innings and was responsible for the four Mustang runs. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out two.

Pilat had three of UJ’s six hits. Nic Metcalf was 2-for-3 to lead Morningside.

Game 2: Jimmies 6, Mustangs 2

A four-run bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference in game two as the Jimmies came away with a 6-2 win.

Kensaku Akiya (JR/Kawasaki, Japan) (6-0) pitched six strong innings, giving up one run on five hits, to get the win. Akiya walked three and struck out four.

Grant Okawa singled in Kendall Yackley (FR/Lynnwood, WA) in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 Jimmie lead. After Morningside got the tying run in the top of the fifth, Jamestown retook the lead on a squeeze bunt by Chase Hacker in the bottom half.

All four of Jamestown’s runs in the sixth came with two out. Drake Pilat led off the inning with a single, then the Jimmies made back-to-back outs. Okawa was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, then Zach Zurbrugg singled to center field. An errant throw by the Mustang center fielder allowed PIlat to score, Okawa to move to third, and Zurbrugg to second. Zurbrugg was replaced on the bases by courtesy runner Nick Wrigg (JR/Helena, MT) as pinch-hitter Lincoln Trujillo came to bat. In an unusual turn of events, Trujillo was caught looking for what should have been the third out, but the ball popped free from the catcher. Trujillo beat a throw to first base as Okawa came across with UJ’s second run of the inning, and Wrigg moved up to third. An errant throw back to the pitcher provided Wrigg with enough time to steal home and score the third Jimmie run. After a walk to Jaden Yackley, Hacker doubled down the left-field line to bring in Jared Bentley (JR/Washougal, WA), who re-entered the game following Trujillo reaching base. Once the inning was all said and done, three hits, a hit batter, a walk, and a passed ball led to four runs.

Morningside scored an unearned run against Jimmie reliever Joe Harris (SO/Recluse, WY) in the top of the seventh to make it a 6-2 game, but Harris came back to retire the final hitter and close out the win. Harris and Andrew Reed (JR/Woodinville, WA) combined for three innings, giving up four hits and an unearned run, while striking out three.

Zurbrugg and Pilat both recorded multiple-hit games. Devin Nielsen had three hits for the Mustangs. Carter Kratz and Levi Davidson both had two hits, including a double.

The two teams meet again Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium in a doubleheader beginning at noon.