JAMESTOWN, N.D. - Fourth-seed Valley City State (N.D.) and fifth-seed Dakota State (S.D.) met for the second time Thursday evening in an elimination game of the NAIA Baseball Unaffiliated Conference Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium. The Vikings used a seven-run fourth inning to storm to an 8-0 lead and held off Trojans' late rally by the score of 13-9, eliminating DSU from postseason play.
After two scoreless innings, Valley City State earned the first lead in the top third inning. Brady Anderson blasted a solo home run with one out to give Vikings a 1-0 lead.
VCSU scored seven times in the top fourth frame as their lead grew by eight runs. The Vikings had seven hits in the inning, including three doubles (Dan Buehner, Joey Demers and Scott Stephenson) and four singles (Mike Gershman, Anderson, Colin Waldner and Robert Wiley).
The Trojans broke their scoring drought in the bottom fourth. Rays Roman opened with a single and advanced to second base by VCSU Bryan Venaas' balk. Anyelo Roman hit an RBI single to score Rays Roman to cut Vikings' lead to 8-1.
The Vikings added a run in the top fifth inning by Josiah Churchill's RBI single to extend their lead to 9-1.
DSU scored a run in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Chaz Palmer opened with a double. Rays Roman recorded an RBI single to score Palmer to reduce Trojans' deficit to 9-2.
Gershman hit a 2-run home run in the top seventh frame to expand Vikings' lead to 11-2.
Dakota State answered with three runs scored in the bottom seventh. Ryan Bourcier and Kevin Madera recorded back-to-back walks. Andy Lee hit a single to center field to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans. Kyle Braun hit an RBI single to score Bourcier (11-3 VCSU lead). Rays Roman added a two-out 2-RBI single to score Madera and Lee as the Vikings' lead shrunk to 11-5.
After Stephenson's double to open the top eighth inning, Buehner hit an RBI single to score Stephenson to give Vikings a 12-5 lead.
Bourcier hit a solo home run - his third home run in the conference tournament - in the bottom eighth inning as DSU trimmed Vikings' lead to 12-6.
Stephenson recorded an RBI double in the top ninth frame to extend their lead to 13-6.
DSU mounted a rally in the bottom ninth inning. Palmer started with a triple. Kyle Holland hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Palmer (13-7 VCSU lead). Bourcier and Madera each added an RBI single to reduce Vikings' lead to 13-9. The Trojans could complete a comeback as the Vikings held on to the victory.
Rays Roman was 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored for the Trojans. He swiped two bases and finished with a DSU school record with 45 stolen bases. Bourcier added a home run, a single and produced two RBIs. Palmer had a triple, a double and scored two times. Anyelo Roman, Madera and Braun each had a hit and an RBI.
Stephenson had three doubles, three RBIs and scored three times for the Vikings. Anderson added a home run, two singles and two RBIs. Gershman recorded a home run, two singles and recorded four RBIs. Churchill and Buehner each had two hits. Waldner, Wiley and Demers each had a single.
VCSU outhit DSU 16-13 in the game.
The Vikings left 10 runners on base compared to the Trojans' 7 runners left on base.
Michael Crain (1-5) recorded the loss for Dakota State. He tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on five hits. He recorded three strikeouts. Josh Grissom came in the top fourth inning and gave up two runs on three hits. Drew Sweeter worked for 1 1/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits in relief. Seth Rockafellow pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs (one unearned) on three hits. Jamie Jorgensen tossed 1 1/3 innings in relief. He gave up two runs on two hits. Luke Gassman pitched 1/3 shutout inning.
Venaas (3-3) picked up the victory for Valley City State after pitching seven innings. He allowed five runs on eight hits. Nathan Stahl worked the final two innings and he gave up four runs on five hits.
Dakota State concluded their regular-season with an overall record of 11-30. Valley City State (15-25 overall record) moves on to another elimination game Friday at 12 p.m. versus No. 1 seed Mayville State (N.D.). Second-seed and host-team Jamestown (N.D.) is undefeated in the tournament and will play in the championship game against the winner of VCSU-MSU game at 3 p.m.
2013 NAIA Baseball Unaffiliated Conference Tournament (Association of Independent Institutions/Frontier Conferences) - Jack Brown Stadium - Jamestown, N.D.
Wednesday, May 1
Game 1: No. 5 seed Dakota State (S.D.) 14, No. 4 seed Valley City State (N.D.) 13 - FINAL/12 innings
Game 2: No. 2 seed Jamestown (N.D.) 3, No. 3 seed Dickinson State (N.D.) 1 - FINAL
Game 3: No. 1 seed Mayville State (N.D.) 8, No. 5 seed Dakota State (N.D.) 7 - FINAL
Thursday, May 2
Game 4 (Loser's Out game): No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) 7, No. 3 Dickinson State (N.D.) 6 - FINAL - Dickinson State eliminated from postseason play
Game 5 (Winner's Bracket): No. 2 Jamestown (N.D.) 12, No. 1 Mayville State (N.D.) 7 - FINAL/10 innings
Game 6 (Loser's Out game): No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) 13, No. 5 Dakota State (S.D.) 9 - FINAL - Dakota State eliminated from postseason play
Friday, May 3
Game 7 (Loser's Out game): No. 4 Valley City State (N.D.) vs. No. 1 Mayville State (N.D.) (33-5-1) - 12 p.m.
Game 8 (Championship game): No. 2 Jamestown (N.D.) (27-9) vs. Game 7 winner - 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 4
Game 9 (If necessary - second championship game if Game 5 winner record first loss of the tournament): Game 8 winner vs. Game 8 loser - 11 a.m.
Photos - Courtesy of Andrew Gideon, Jamestown College Athletics
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director