Merchants beat Mayville, Win State for 11th time!
Merchants repeat as 'AAA' state champs
Jamestown's Jared Purdy has seen a lot over his 20-year amateur baseball career with the Miller Lite Merchants. Purdy is the all-time leader in at-bats and has won 10 Class AAA titles, just to name a few accomplishments.
But with three kids, including some of them starting to play baseball, Purdy's free time in the summer has dwindled.
"I have kids that play a lot of ball and I do a lot of baseball coaching, too," Purdy explained. "I probably missed more games this year than the first 19 years I played."
Purdy didn't let contemplating retirement, however, keep him from having a great night Wednesday during the Class AAA amateur baseball state tournament championship game as he went 1-for-4 with three RBIs as Jamestown topped Mayville 8-5 for the title at Jack Brown Stadium.
Purdy opened the scoring in the second inning with a two-run homer that went well over the Jack Brown right-field wall. During the next inning, Purdy scored Preston Jensen with a sacrifice fly to extend the Merchants' lead to 4-2.
"It's been awhile since I hit one here," Purdy said of the home run. "You don't hit as many with wood bats, of course, but I hit a couple off the fence this year. Today I got lucky."
Purdy, 38, is a JHS graduate and played high school and American Legion baseball right here in Jamestown.
Purdy played for the University of Jamestown baseball team as a freshman, before transferring to the University of North Dakota the next year. Purdy's college baseball career came to an end after hurting his arm after one season at UND.
The now owner of Interstate Spray Foam Insulation, a business out of Fargo, graduated and played for 20 summers as a Jamestown Merchant.
"I've seen a lot of guys come through this team," Purdy said. "It's taken up a lot of the last 20 summers but now my kids are 11, 8 and 4, so that turned my main focus to them nowadays."
Purdy said some of his favorite memories over the years have been games with the Jamestown Elks.
Brandon Baumgartner started on the mound for the Merchants where he went nine innings, gave up five runs, 12 hits and struck out six. The pitcher also worked out of jams in seven of nine innings.
"He's pitched in a lot of big games for us over the years," Erstad said of Baumgartner. "He knows that spot and knows how to work out of trouble.
"He's a great guy to have in that situation."
Since 2001, either the Merchants or Jamestown Elks have won the amateur baseball state title, according to Erstad.
"For some of our older guys on the Merchants, you wonder how long can we go? But we're going to keep it going as long as we can," Erstad said.
Jamestown Merchants 8, Mayville 5
JAM 031 001 021 -- 8 7 4
MAY 020 001 002 -- 5 12 6
Merchant highlights: Jared Purdy 1-4, HR, 3 RBI; Jose Soriano 1-4, 2 R, RBI; Brandon Baumgartner 9 IP, 1 ER, 13 H, 6 K, 3 BB; Ryder Lunzman 2-3, R, RBI; Andrew Hill 1-5; Anthony Fontana 2-4, RBI.
Merchants Split day 1 of State, Rain postpones until next Sunday
The Merchants went 1-1 on the first day of the ND State Amateur baseball tournament in Jamestown. They rallied for a 2-1 win over Mayville then dropped a game 6-1 to the Elks. That put them in the semi-finals versus the Elks on Sunday but the rains came and the field was a lake. The final day has been postponed twice, Sunday, Aug. 26th was also rained out so the championship will be played on Wednesday, Aug. 29th, Merchants vs. Mayville.
Merchants beat Elks, Win "Gopher" Tournament
No A/C, Flies on Bus, but successful trip to Enderlin
The Merchants battled the elements on their smelly, hot, and fly infested bus and were able to sneak out a 3-2 win at Enderlin. Brady Anderson provided the offensive power with a center field Enderlin homer. Anthony Fontana spun another masterful Enderlin gem going all 9 innings, 12 K's one earned run, to get the win.
Merchants Walk-Off Elks
Jamestown Sun Staff -
Jake Stilwell delivered the walk-off RBI in the bottom of the ninth to give the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants a 4-3 victory over the Elks Wednesday night in Fargo.
On the mound, starter Greg Lunski went four innings, while giving up three runs (one unearned) on five hits. Steve Hirchert, the winning pitcher in the contest, tossed five innings of two-hit ball and struck out 10.
The Merchants will play Pelican Rapids (Minn.) on Wednesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Fargo.
Jamestown Merchants 4, Elks 3
E 003 000 000 -- 3 7 2
M 300 000 001 -- 4 7 4
W--Steve Hirchert. L--Sam Rehn.
Merchants highlights: Steve Hirchert 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 10 K, 1-4; Greg Lunski 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 R, 5 H, BB, 2 K; Bryan Erstad 2-4, R; Beau Brunsvold 1-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB; Jake Stillwell 1-3, RBI, R, 2 BB; Jose Soriano 0-4, RBI; Brady Anderson 1-3, R, 2 BB; Anthony Fontana 1-4, R.
Record: Merchants 7-5.
Merchants win first ever meeting with Mudcats
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Fargo, ND – Greg Lunski and Steve Hirchert combined to strike out 16 batters as the Merchants overcame leaving 14 runners on base to beat the Moorhead Mudcats 4-1 at No Name Field on Wednesday.
“That was most I’ve pitched in two years,” stated Steve. “I should be ready to go again by August.”
Hirchert completed his longest outing for the Merchants since his complete game against Detroit Lakes on June 4th, 2016.
Steve fanned 10 Mudcats in five innings of work while only allowing two hits to pick up his first save of the season.
Lunski started for the M’s and allowed one run while striking out six in four innings for his second win of the season and his 67 of his career.
The M’s managed to score four runs even though they stranded a small village on the base paths and had runners left on base in every inning except one.
The M’s were paced by their leadoff hitter Andrew Hill, Hill reached base in all five plate appearances collecting three walks and two hit by pitches. Bryan Erstad continued his hot hitting Wednesday night even though he didn’t hit a home run for only the third time this season. Erstad went 3-5 at the plate to increase his team leading batting average to .581.
The Miller Lite Merchants will take the weekend off before they take on the Moorhead Brewers next Wednesday at No Name Field.
Short-Handed Merchants get Redcapped
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Fargo, ND - For the third time in four games the Merchants only manage to have nine players show up to the ballpark.
“It has been a pretty poor showing so far this year, but I suppose that’s what happens when you lose five regulars from last year’s state championship team,” stated Wednesday’s starting pitcher Brandon Baumgartner.
The first two times the Merchants only had nine players they won, however, tonight would not produce the same result.
The Mayville Redcaps brought half the town of Mayville to Fargo and scored all eight of their runs with two outs to beat the M’s 8-5.
Baumgartner struggled to get out of innings on the mound, highlighted by Mayville’s three runs on five straight hits with two outs in the sixth to break open a 3-2 game at the time.
The M’s got two back in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 6-4 game but Mayville tacked on two more runs off Merchant reliever Preston Jensen with a two out, two run homer in the eighth.
The Merchants scored one in the bottom of the 9th but that was it. Bryan Erstad continued to demolish the ball at the plate collecting two hits including his team leading fourth home run of the season. Andrew Hill and Beau Brunsvold each added two hits.
The M’s (4-2) will take on the Moorhead Mudcats Wednesday at No Name Name Field.
Merchants Run Out of Steam on Sunday
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Enderlin, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants saw their four game winning streak end Sunday afternoon in the title game of the Josh Berg Memorial Tournament in Enderlin.
The Merchants were defeated by the Jamestown Greyhounds by the score of 6-2, as the Greyhounds took home the title. The Hounds were able to put up four runs in the first two innings against Merchant starter Sam Hirchert. While the M’s were unable to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the first inning. The Merchants got two back in the bottom of the second to make it 4-2 but that was as close as they would get.
“I didn’t waste a weekend in Enderlin to take second place, stated an irritated Jared Purdy after Sunday’s game.”
Greg Lunski threw four effective innings out of the bullpen, while Brady Anderson and Bryan Erstad each picked up two hits in the loss.
In the tournament opener on Friday night, Brandon Baumgartner made history by launching his first ever homerun, at any level, into the centerfield bleachers at Hendrickson Field. Baumgartner’s three-run homer broke open a 1-1 game in the bottom of the fourth.
Brady Anderson homered twice while the Merchants beat the Valley City Saints 8-1 to advance to the semifinals.
On the mound, Baumgartner carried a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up a two out double. Valley City hit a solo homer in the seventh to end the shutout. Baumgartner struck out 11 Saints to cap off his historic night.
On Saturday, Dan Ross was lights out against Tolna. Ross pitched around five Merchant errors to only allow one hit and one unearned run in six innings of work.
Andrew Hill was a home run short of the cycle and Bryan Erstad hit his team leading third home run of the season as the Merchants pounded out 11 hits to beat Tolna 10-1.
The M’s will head back to Fargo to take on the Mayville Redcaps this Wednesday at No Name Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:03 PM.
Steve Shuts Down the Mets
Fargo, ND- Three innings down, 72 more to go for Steve Hirchert in his quest for 75 innings this season. After throwing a combined 20 innings in the past three years, Steve is guaranteeing at least 75 this summer.
“I’ve quit softball and I’m all in this season, except for every other Wednesday and most weekends,” stated Steve.
Steve started his pursuit with three dominate innings of relief, striking out eight to pick up the save in the Merchants 10-4 victory over the FM Mets Wednesday night at No Name Field.
The Mets came out swinging in the first, plating two runs against Merchant starter Greg Lunski. However, the Merchant bats erupted for seven runs in the second highlighted by Bryan Erstad’s two run homer off the curling club in right field.
The Mets scored two unearned runs off of Lunski in the 4th but after that they managed only one hit the rest of the way against Merchant relievers Brandon Baumgartner and Hirchert. Baumgartner and Hirchert managed to strikeout 12 Mets in five scoreless innings of relief.
The M’s were able to tack on a few insurance runs in the 7th and 8th innings to stretch their lead to the final score of 10-4.
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants will head to Enderlin this weekend to play in the Annual Josh Berg Memorial Tournament. First game is scheduled for 8:30 PM Friday night against the Valley City Saints.
Rain Stops, Merchants Beat Mets
Steve Hirchert on inning three of his "Quest for 75."
Bstad Caps Big Day with Walk-Off Bomb
Fargo, ND – The nine month offseason didn’t slow down the reigning AAA MVP Bryan Erstad, Erstad picked up right where he left off last season by leading the Merchants to a come from behind victory Wednesday night over the Moorhead Miners.
“Thunder Road has pretty much been my second home this offseason, stated Erstad. I’ve really worked hard on trying to increase my launch angle, so far, so good.”
Erstad capped his four hit day by hitting a majestic walk-off two run home run into the night sky. The homer gave the Merchants a 12-11 victory in a back and forth game that saw the lead change seven times.
The M’s pounded out 16 hits in all. Andrew Hill’s solo blast in the fifth might have put a hole in the FM Curling Club building out in right field. Statcast’s estimated exit velocity on the homerun was 93.8 mph.
Jake Stillwell threw a scoreless ninth for the M’s to pick up his first career win. He also added two hits at the plate.
The Miller Lite Merchants will take the Memorial Day weekend off before they get back in action next Wednesday against the FM Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:02 PM. The first fan in attendance will receive a free Beast in the parking lot after the game.
Merchants season looming, snow at Jack Brown Stadium
Merchants Take State!
Erstad garners AAA MVP
It's been rare lately where the three amateur baseball state champions come from different communities.
But this year, that's what happened. As a result, the MVPs also come from different parts of the state.
For Bryan Erstad and Aaron Stemen, MVPs are nothing new, both have won it previously. But Dalton Flaagan is a first-timer.
After playing club baseball at NDSU, Flaagan is now back home in Tolna working in the ag industry. Flaagan and a number of his high school friends and teammates made a convincing run through the Class A field.
The left-handed hitting centerfielder clubbed two home runs in helping Tolna outscore its three opponents 27-10. Flaagan finished 5-for-12 with four RBIs and five runs scored. He also doubled and was the only player with multiple homers in any of three state tournaments held at Jack Brown Stadium.
Jon Lund also had a big tournament for Tolna, hitting .700 (7-for-10) with two RBIs, three runs and three doubles. Slick-fielding shortstop Riley Nelson went 3-for-8 with six runs and four RBIs.
Stemen, the Class A MVP in 2014 for the champion LaMoure Merchants, helped the Cass County Catfish to the Class AA title. The Catfish featured a handful of players from LaMoure, Edgeley and the Fargo area. The team was organized and managed by Travis Jones of Edgeley.
At the plate, Stemen went 4-for-9 with four runs, two doubles and two walks. He also spun a two-hit shutout on the mound in the semifinals for the Catfish.
Stemen is an assistant women's basketball coach at Trinity Bible College. He also was a standout player on the hardcourt for the Lions, earning All-American honors in 2016.
Erstad relinquished his trademark spot in centerfield this year for the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants. But the former multi-sport star at Jamestown High School did plenty of damage with the bat, as usual.
Erstad, who lives in Fargo and continues to manage the Merchants, went 7-for-13 with a home run, double and five RBIs. He also walked four times as the Merchants rebounded from an opening-round loss to Mayville to reel off three straight wins to claim their ninth triple A title and 10th overall.
Sam Hirchert, Dan Ross and Andrew Hill also garnered consideration.
Hirchert turned in an epic pitching performance on Sunday for the Merchants. He totaled 10 2/3 innings on the mound, getting a win in relief in the semifinals before throwing all nine innings of the championship game against the rival Jamestown Elks.
Hill collected seven hits in 12 at bats, while patrolling center field.
Back on Top
Bryan Erstad turning on the jets.
Tony Viger getting congratulated after a bomb versus Mayville.
Sam Hirchert delivering a pitch to the Elks in the championship game.
Photos by John M. Steiner, Jamestown Sun
By David Selvig, Jamestown Sun. August 21st, 2017. Jamestown, ND
Sam Hirchert logged almost 11 innings on the mound Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium.
The question after leading the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants to the Class AAA state amateur baseball tournament championship was pretty obvious. How was the ol' right arm feeling?
"Not good. I am going to feel really awful tomorrow," the former Mayville State standout joked. "I was definitely not expecting to throw 10 2/3 innings today."
But he did as the Merchants defeated the Mayville Redcaps 10-3 in eight innings, and the Jamestown Elks 11-2 in the nine-inning title tilt. Hirchert was the winning pitcher in both games, allowing just two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in the marathon afternoon on the mound.
"Absolutely it's worth it. It's a great feeling for our team," said Hirchert, who began his college career at then Jamestown College. "I love pitching here. It's definitely my favorite park to pitch in. It could possibly be my last tournament, you never know."
Hirchert and his wife are moving to Minneapolis in two weeks, although he's hopeful of continuing his career with the Merchants.
"I already talked to the wife about it, so hopefully we can work it out," he said.
Hirchert's heroics almost never happened.
In the first game on Sunday, the Mayville Redcaps were 90 feet from eliminating the Merchants. Called on in relief, Hirchert got the now nine-time Class AAA champs out of a major jam in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the eighth, they erupted for seven runs. Another seven-run inning—this time in the top of the ninth against the Elks—sealed the deal.
"It definitely was not an easy or pretty weekend of baseball for us, but the bottom line is we got it done," said Merchants manager Bryan Erstad, who had two hits in both games Sunday. "This is the first tournament we've won all summer. It's a great feeling to be back in Jamestown and win."
The Merchants banged out 13 hits against the Elks. When 7-hole hitter Dan Ross clubbed a grand slam in the top of the ninth, the title for the Miller Lite sponsored squad was on tap.
"What can you say? You never know who is going to step up. We got a lot of contributions up and down the lineup and our pitching was great all weekend," Erstad said. "To be able to beat two good teams like Mayville and the Elks in a couple of tough ballgames, I'm really proud of the guys. We'll be back next year to try it again."
The Elks, who outscored their two opponents 16-3 on Saturday thanks to strong pitching from Cole Torgerson and Ryan Iliff, were the defending Class AAA champions.
Jamestown Elks 5, Bismarck Braves 1
J 002 030 0 -- 5 9 0
B 000 000 1 -- 1 1 1
Cole Torgerson and Alex Sablan. Devin Bercier, Jaylin McCloud (6) and Beriah Smith. W--Torgerson. L--McCloud. HR--Elks, Alex Sablan.
Highlights: Elks, Nick Wrigg 2-3; Boya Quichocho 1-4, 2 SB; Sablan 1-3 HR, BB; Caleb Fischer 1-2 2 R; Tanner Lunzman 1-2 2 R; Ryan Iliff 1-2 2 RBI; Logan Krivoruchka 1-4; Cam Jenkins 1-1; Torgerson 7 IP, 1 R (O ER), 1 H, 8 SO, 5 BB. B, Beriah Smith 1-2; Christian McCloud 0-1 R.
Mayville Redcaps 5, Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants 3
M 000 210 2 -- 5 10 1
J 002 100 0 -- 3 6 2
Jace Ingebretson and Austin Monson. Greg Lunski, Dan Ross (7) and Anthony Fontana. W--Ingebretson. L--Ross. HR--Merchants, Bryan Erstad, Tony Viger.
Highlights: Mayville, Pladson 1-4 2B, R; Alex Berry 2-3 R; Danny Scholand 1-4 R; Mickey Berry 2-3 2 RBI, R; Monson 1-4; Jace Pederson 1-4; Jake Bilden 1-4; Conner Weber 1-2; Ingebretson 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 4 SO, 3 BB. J, Erstad 2-2 HR, BB; Viger 2-4 HR; Andrew Hill 1-3; Dakotah Kirchenwitz 1-2 2B; Lunski 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 4 SO, 2 BB.
Merchants 7, Bismarck 0
B 000 000 0 -- 0 3 4
J 001 312 x -- 7 9 0
Jaylin Keplin, Skylar Keplin (4), Christian McCloud (6) and Smith. Ross and Alec Sames. W--Ross. L--J.Keplin.
Highlights: B, Darius Saeman 1-3; C.McCloud 1-3; Darien Hamley 1-2. J, Brady Anderson 2-3 3 R; Preston Jensen 2-4 RBI, R; Erstad 1-3; Hill 1-3; Joe Vannett 1-3; Sames 1-3 R; Turner Storm 1-2, R; Ross 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 SO, 1 BB.
Elks 11, Mayville 2, 5 Innings
J 000 47 -- 11 12 3
M 100 10 -- 2 4 0
Ryan Iliff and Joey Gebhardt. Gabe Salander, Brandon Lacher (4) and Monson. W--Iliff. L--Salander.
Highlights: Elks, Wrigg 1-3 RBI, R; Corry Shevlin 2-4 2 R, RBI; Quichocho 2-3 R; Sablan 3-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Cody Vogler 1-3 R; Tanner Lunzman 1-2 2 RBI, R; Krivoruchka 1-2 2 RBI; Kyle Mallory 1-2 R, RBI; Gebhardt 0-2 R; Iliff 5 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 0 BB.
Merchants 10, Mayville 3, 8 Innings
J 000 030 07 -- 10 8 1
M 000 003 00 -- 3 9 3
Brandon Baumgartner, Sam Hirchert (7) and Anthony Fontana. Mickey Berry and Austin Monson. W--Hirchert. L--Berry.
Highlights: Merchants, Brady Anderson 0-4 2 R; Preston Jensen 1-3 2 R; Bryan Erstad 2-4 R, 3 RBI; Tony Viger 1-4; Dakotah Kirchenwitz 0-3 RBI; Dan Ross 1-4 R, RBI; Anthony Fontana 0-3 R; Jared Purdy 1-1 2B, 3 RBI; Hirchert 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 SO. Mayville, Jake Pladson 1-4; Alex Berry 1-3 R; Danny Scholand 1-3 R; Mickey Berry 1-3; Monson 1-3 2 RBI; Jake Bilden 2-4 RBI; Jace Ingebretson 1-4; Hayden Bring 1-4; Connor Weber 1-3.
Merchants 11, Elks 2
M 103 000 007 -- 11 13 0
E 000 200 000 -- 2 4 1
Hirchert and Fontana. Christian Hackworth, Cam Jenkins (8), Seth Pigg (9), Ryan Iliff (9) and Sablan. W--Hirchert. L--Hackworth. HR--Merchants, Dan Ross (GS).
Highlights: Merchants, Anderson 2-5 R; Jensen 2-3 3 R; Erstad 2-4 2B, R, RBI; Hill 3-4 2B, R, 2 RBI; Ross 2-5 HR, 6 RBI; Fontana 2-4 R; Hirchert 9 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 7 SO, 5 BB. Elks, Iliff 1-4 R; Vogler 1-3; Gebhardt 1-1; Krivoruchka 1-4.
Merchant Bats Take a Nap
Fargo, ND – The Miller Lite Merchants ended the regular season with a 1-0 loss to the Moorhead Brewers Tuesday night at Jack Williams Stadium.
The M’s managed only three hits all night.
“It was a rough night at the plate, hopefully the bats wake up for this weekend, stated Doppler Dan Ross.
Ross was a part of one the Merchants few scoring opportunities, as he was thrown out at home plate trying to score from first base on Turner Storms double in the second inning.
The M’s other scoring opportunity came in the fifth as the Brewers walked the bases loaded but J-Rod Purdy grounded out to third to end the threat.
Doppler took the loss on the mound throwing four innings of solid relief while giving up a run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Miller Lite Merchants finished the regular season with a 20-7 record.
This weekend the Merchants will take part in the North Dakota Amateur Baseball State AAA Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown, ND.
Merchants Win Game but Tony Loses Two Hats
Enderlin, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants bounced back from two defeats earlier in the week, defeating the Enderlin Indies 10-0 Friday night at Hendrickson Field.
The Merchants jumped on the Indies starter right away scoring two in the first and three in the second highlighted by Dakotah Kirchenwitz’s first ever Merchant home run.
“My swing was a little off earlier this week, so I went to the cage in Horace and straightened my swing out,” said Dakotah. “Sure enough, it paid off.”
Every Merchant had a hit except for J-Rod Purdy who went hitless in his four trips to the plate.
On the mound, the Merchants struck out 16 Indies, led by starter Brandon Baumgartner who fanned nine while picking up his sixth win of the summer. Turner Storm and Tony Viger combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief.
The Merchants tacked on five more runs to end the game after eight innings via the ten-run rule.
Afterwards, the Merchants took their third annual party bus back home to Fargo. Somehow between Enderlin and Fargo Tony Viger managed to lose both of his Merchant hats. The whereabouts of the hats are still unknown.
The M’s wrap up their final night of Fargo League play this Wednesday at No Name Field against the Redcaps of Mayville. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM
Note: The Mayor of Enderlin, Jeff Nold had one hit in his return. He is still undecided if he will run for another year of office next season.
TV Fries the Catfish
Fargo, ND – Tony Viger put on a show for his parents Wednesday night at No Name Field. Viger blasted two home runs to help the Merchants beat the Cass County Catfish 13-0.
“This was the only game my parents could come to all year, I made sure it counted,” says Tony. “I even went to the gym before the game so I could be a little more jacked up.”
Viger and the Merchants clobbered the Catfish pitching all night. Collecting 13 hits, including home runs by Dan Ross and Steve Hirchert.
On the mound, Greg Lunski picked up his fourth win of the season and his 65th of his Merchant career, allowing one hit in three innings of work.
“I think I have another eight years left in me to get to 1,000 innings, that’s my goal,” stated Lunski while he struggled yet again to finish off a snack size order of wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, who are an official sponsor of Merchant baseball.
Anthony Fontana had two hit and three RBIs for the M’s as he improved his batting average to a career best .371.
The Merchants (19-4) will take on the Moorhead Brewers Sunday night at 5:00pm at Concordia. Please note, Sunday’s game was moved back one hour so Baumy can get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning.
Lunski Dominates the Redcaps
Fargo, ND – Greg Lunski was outstanding on the mound for the Merchants Wednesday night at No Name Field as the M’s beat the Mayville Redcaps 4-1.
Lunski gave the M’s seven solid innings, allowing only one run, and striking out five to improve to 3-0 on the year.
“I had almost a month off from pitching so the arm felt great tonight,” stated Lunski as he struggled to finish his snack size order of wings at Buffalo Wild Wings later that night.
“Doppler” Dan Ross pitched the last two innings for the M’s to collect his first career Merchant save.
At the plate, the Merchants only had five hits, Jared J-Rod Purdy collected the only RBI for the M’s with a double in the three run sixth inning that gave the Merchants a 4-0 lead.
The Redcaps scored their lone run off Lunski in the seventh but Ross blanked Mayville in the eighth and ninth to improve the M’s record to 18-4.
The Miller Lite Merchants have the weekend off before they get back in action against the Cass County Catfish next Wednesday at No Name Field.
Schedule Update: Our game scheduled against Enderlin for this upcoming Friday has been cancelled with no make-up date announced.
Merchants Coast to 4-1 Victory over Valley City
Jamestown, ND – The Miller Lite Merchants put it in cruise control on Sunday evening at Jack Brown Stadium beating the Valley City Saints 4-1.
The Merchants jumped on the Saints early, scoring one run in the first and three more in the second to take a 4-0 lead.
After that, Saints starter Chase Carpenter shut down the Merchants the rest of the day giving up only three hits in his last six innings of work.
“After the second inning, there was a country club like atmosphere to the game, we took our foot off the gas and relaxed. Luckily Baumy kept throwing up zeros.” stated Turner Storm as he was too busy hurrying home to watch Game of Thrones to grab his glove and batting gloves from the dugout.
Brandon Baumgartner went the distance for the M’s in this pitcher’s duel, giving up only one run. Baumgartner struck out eight Saints in route to his fifth win of the summer.
Andrew Hill, Bryan Erstad and Joe Vannett each had two hits for the Merchants who had seven in all.
The Miller Lite Merchants (17-4) will take on the Mayville Redcaps Wednesday at No Name Field. The first fan in attendance will get a free Beast courtesy of Miller Lite.
Notes: Baumgartner collected his 300th career Merchant strikeout in the first inning. Tony Viger had his team leading seven game hit strike snapped.
Merchants Bounce Back with Big Win Over the FM Mets
Fargo, ND – After a 2-1 record and another second place finish over the weekend, this time at the "Gopher" Memorial tournament in Jamestown, the Miller Lite Merchants got back in the win column Wednesday at No Name Field with a 12-0 beat down of the FM Mets.
The Merchant scoring was highlighted by a six-run third inning that was capped off by a two-out bases clearing single by “Doppler” Dan Ross.
Jamestown Merchant starter Brandon Baumgartner was sharp on the mound after almost a month off. Baumgartner fired six innings of one-hit baseball to pick up his fourth win of the summer.
After the Merchants scored two more in the fourth, they tacked on four in the top of the seventh to make the score 12-0. Ross pitched the seventh for the M’s and shut the door to end the game via the ten-run rule.
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants will host the Valley City Saints this Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM. The first five fans in attendance will get a leftover can koozie from this weekend’s Hirchert wedding.
M’s Walk It Off Against the Brewers
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants came away with a walk-off victory over the Moorhead Brewers Wednesday night at No Name Field.
The Merchants held three different one run leads throughout the game. The scoring started in the first when Tony Viger doubled home Dakotah Kirchenwitz to give the Merchants a 1-0 lead.
After the Brewers tied things up in the second off starter Sam Hirchert, Anthony Fontana singled home Jared “J-Rod” Purdy in the fourth inning to put the M’s back up.
The Brewers would again tie things up in the fifth, however, the Merchants answered right back in the sixth when Bryan Erstad singled home Kirchenwitz for one of his three hits on the day.
Hirchert battled all night for the M’s on the mound throwing all nine innings.
“All I need was two Beast’s and five Advil’s and I was ready to go on the mound tonight,” stated Sam as he enjoyed his first victory against the Brewers since 2013.
Sam battled through some early inning walks but was lights out from the sixth inning on.
After retiring the first two Brewers in the ninth, Sam and the Merchants were one out away from ending the game. However, a two-out triple followed by an RBI-single tied the game up at three.
In the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Hill led off with a walk. The next two batters moved Hill to third and allowed Kirchenwitz to deliver a walk-off single to right field to give the M’s a 4-3 victory.
“I was just looking to drive the ball hard and score the run, all the extra tee work at the Horace cage has really paid off for me this season,” said Kirchenwitz as he sipped on a lemonade after the game.
Every Merchant starter had a hit as the M’s pounded out 16 hits in all.
Sam moves to (4-0) on the year, he also collected nine strike outs on the mound.
The Miller Lite Merchants (13-3) look to win their third straight Dale “Gopher” Lien Memorial Baseball Tournament sponsored by Shady’s Bar this weekend.
Dale “Gopher” Lien Memorial Baseball Tournament Schedule
Saturday - July 8th
11:00 am – Elks vs. Cass County Catfish
1:15 pm – Cass County Catfish vs. Merchants
3:30 pm – Mayville vs. Merchants
5:45 pm – Elks vs. Mayville
Sunday – July 9th
11:00 am – Catfish vs. Mayville
1:15 pm – Elks vs. Merchants
Merchants Win Big Over the Redcaps
Fargo, ND – New jersey’s and the sound of Fergie in the background couldn’t even distract the Merchants Wednesday night as they dominated the Mayville Redcaps 11-1 in Fargo League play.
The Merchants pounded out 14 hits, highlighted by an eighth inning grand slam by Tony Viger to put the M’s up 10-1.
Dakotah Kirchenwitz continued his hot streak at the plate collecting three hits from the leadoff spot. Viger, Bryan Erstad and Joe Vannett each had two hits for the Merchants.
Greg Lunski picked up his second win of the year for the Merchants throwing four scoreless innings.
The Merchants have the weekend off before they take on the Cass County Catfish next Wednesday. First pitch scheduled for 6:59 PM.
Merchants Miss Another Tournament Title
Aberdeen, SD – The Miller Lite Merchants headed to Aberdeen, South Dakota this past weekend for the Aberdeen Circus Invitational and came away without a tournament title for the third time this year.
The Merchants were originally scheduled to take on Groton, SD and Aberdeen on Saturday night. However, mother nature had other plans.
Saturday’s game vs. Groton made it through the first inning and a half before heavy rain suspended the game till Sunday tied at 3.
That first inning was action packed for the M’s. They scored two in the top of the first and gave Andrew Hill a lead in his first career start on the mound for the Merchants.
Hill quickly found himself in trouble, walking five batters in that first inning and giving the lead back to Groton at 3-2.
“I just couldn’t find it,” stated Hill as he tried to figure out how to sober up before the bottom of the second.
Luckily for Hill and the Merchants they manufactured a run in the top of the second to tie the game before the rain came to suspend things till Sunday.
After drinking 102 Beasts Saturday night, the Merchants took the field early Sunday morning to take part in an unheard-of triple-header.
Play resumed against Groton and the Merchants turned to Tony Viger to guide them through the Groton lineup.
After a scoreless bottom of the second by Viger, Bryan Erstad promptly put the Merchants in the lead for good with a towering home run down the right field line.
Groton put across one run over five innings against Viger but the Merchants bats kept hitting and the game ended after six via the South Dakota 8-run rule with a score of 12-4.
In game two of Sunday’s triple-header the Merchants took on undefeated Aberdeen and unfortunately, Aberdeen came away from the game still undefeated.
Brandon Baumgartner started on the mound for the M’s and spent most of the day from the stretch as the Aberdeen bats kept getting on base.
Baumgartner was able to strand a small village of Aberdeen runners, while the Merchant bats put three runs across against former Nebraska Husker product Christian Cox.
However, three untimely errors in the fifth allowed Aberdeen to tie the game at 3 and force the seven-inning game to go into extras. Aberdeen would load the bases up and win on a walk-off base hit to give the M’s their third loss of the year and ruin their chances at winning the tournament.
In the final game of the day, the Merchants faced off against the Redfield Pheasants. The Pheasants tried to the thumb the Merchants to death by throwing a lefty that topped out at 70 mph but the Merchants found just enough offense to win 4-2.
Anthony Fontana was masterful on the mound, pitching a complete game when the M’s had no pitching left.
The Merchants have now gone 2-1 in each of their three tournaments this year. They will look to win their last tournament of the summer this July in Jamestown.
The M’s (11-3) resume play this Wednesday against the Mayville Redcaps. First pitch is at 7:00 pm. Greg Lunski will toe the rubber for the Merchants.
Dominant Pitching Leads Merchants to Victory over Elks
Fargo, ND – The trio of Sam Hirchert, Greg Lunski and Steve Hirchert were dominant on the mound Wednesday night as the Miller Lite Merchants blanked the Jamestown Elks 3-0 at No Name Field.
Sam Hirchert started the game for the M’s and fired six shutout innings to move to (3-0) on the season. Lunski added two scoreless innings, while Steve Hirchert pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
The Merchants scored all three runs in third after they loaded the bases with no outs. A hit by pitch, RBI groundout and wild pitch brought home the only runs of the game.
Preston Jensen and Anthony Fontana each had two hits for the M’s while Tony Viger had the only extra base hit for Merchants with a double in the seventh.
The Miller Lite Merchants will bring their “Fighting Nine” to Aberdeen, South Dakota this weekend for the Aberdeen Invitational.
Aberdeen Invitational Schedule
Saturday, June 17
Merchants vs. Groton, SD – 3:00 PM
Merchants vs. Aberdeen, SD – 5:00 PM
Sunday, June 18
Merchants vs. Redfield, SD – 11:00 AM
Merchants Top Redcaps 4-3
Fargo, ND – The Miller Lite Merchants beat the Mayville Redcaps on Wednesday night at No Name Field coming away with a hard fought 4-3 victory.
The Merchants got on the board right away scoring two in the first to give starter Greg Lunski a lead.
Mayville got on the board in the third after the Merchants booted the ball around a couple of times. However, Brandon Baumgartner got that run right back for the Merchants in the fourth with an RBI double.
Lunski gave another run back to the Redcaps in the fifth but was solid on the mound in his five innings of work only giving up one earned run.
The scored stayed 3-2 until the eighth, when Mayville loaded the bases with no outs against Brandon Baumgartner who was relieving Lunski. Baumgartner managed to get out of the jam limiting the Redcaps to only one run.
The M’s answered right back to break the tie with a “Merchant Run” in the eighth as Dakotah Kirchenwitz scored on a wild pitch.
The Redcaps tried to make things interesting in the ninth as they had two runners on but Baumgartner got Mayville cleanup hitter Mickey Berry to ground out back to the mound to end the game.
The Merchants are now (8-2) on the season and will take the weekend off before they play the Jamestown Elks next Wednesday at No Name Field.
Notes: Dakotah Kirchenwitz collected his 9th hit of the season, which surpasses his total from the entire 2016 season.
Merchants Settle for 3rd Place at the Detroit Lakes Angels Invitational
Detroit Lakes, MN – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants went 2-1 this past weekend to take home third-place in this year’s Detroit Lakes Angels Invitational.
The Merchants started the weekend off with a first round win over the Richmond Royals. Greg Lunski, Turner Storm, and Steve Hirchert fired a combined 1-hitter to open the tournament. Steve Hirchert shut the door in the seventh to get his first save of the season as the Merchants held on for a 2-1 victory.
In his only at bat of the game, Bryan Erstad hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the first to tie the game at one. Tony Viger brought home the winning run with an RBI single in the fourth.
On Saturday, the semi-finals had the Merchants square off against the hometown Angels.
Merchant starter Brandon Baumgartner gave the Merchants an average outing on the mound, he allowed unearned runs in the first and third innings to give the Angels a 2-0 lead through four innings.
The Merchant bats started to shake off the Zorbaz/Wildflower golf rust in the fifth as they scored two runs to tie the game up. However, Baumgartner would give the lead right back to Detroit Lakes in the bottom half of the fifth as he served up a solo home run, that would end up being the difference as the M’s lost 3-2.
Tony Viger and Andrew “Puke” Hill each had two hits for the Merchants in the loss.
In the third-place game, the Merchants faced off against the Jamestown Elks. Seven strong innings by Sam Hirchert were enough to give the Merchants a 5-2 victory.
The Merchant offense still wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders. However, the Elks kicked the ball around just enough as the Merchants scored three of their five runs on wild pitches and another on an error.
The Miller Lite Merchants (7-2) are back in action this Wednesday against the Mayville Redcaps at No Name Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:11 PM. The first fan in attendance gets a free Slurpee courtesy of 7-Eleven.
Merchants No-Hit the Catfish
Fargo, ND - Five Merchant pitchers combined to no-hit the Cass County Catfish Wednesday night as the M’s thumped the Catfish 16-0 in seven innings.
Brandon Baumgartner got the win for the Merchants throwing three hitless innings. Greg Lunski, Jameson Benson, Tony Viger and Steve Hirchert each threw a hitless inning to complete the no-hitter.
This was the first Merchant no-hitter since the legendary “O-Face” game by Greg Lunski in the 2014 state tournament.
The Miller Lite Merchants were paced at the plate by Andrew Hill, Tony Viger and Turner Storm who each had multi-hit games. Hill and Storm both had RBI triples, while Viger blasted his first career Merchant homerun off a light post in left center.
Dakotah Kirchenwitz continued his #ComebackSZN by collecting two hits, he has now equaled his total number of hits from all last season.
The Merchants are now (5-1) on the season and will head to the Detroit Lakes Angels Invitational this weekend. The first game of the invite takes place Friday night at 8:15 pm against the Richmond Royals. Greg Lunski will toe the rubber for the M’s.
Jensen and Merchants Cruise to Victory over the FM Mets
Fargo, ND – The Miller Lite Merchants walked off via the ten-run rule on Wednesday night at No Name Field against the FM Mets.
The Merchants were led by Preston Jensen who reached base four times and collected three hits.
“I was nervous when I showed up 90 minutes before game time and ten Mets players were hitting whiffle balls behind the backstop,” said Jensen. “Somehow, our pitchers were still able to limit them to only three hits.”
The game was tight in the early going until the M’s scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to give themselves a 6-1 lead. Single runs in the fifth and sixth along with three in the seventh led to the Merchants 11-1 victory.
Sam Hirchert got the win on the mound throwing five innings while only giving up one run.
Andrew Hill, Bryan Erstad and Anthony Fontana also had multi-hit games for the M’s who move to (4-1) on the season.
The Merchants are off this weekend and will be back in action next Wednesday against the Cass County Catfish. First pitch is scheduled for 7:01 PM.
Merchants Lose in Title Game for the Third Straight Time at the Brewers Invite
Fargo, ND – For the third straight time, the Miller Lite Merchants came away with a second-place finish at the Moorhead Brewers Invite.
“You guys stink,” said bat boy Blake Erstad following the Merchants loss to the Moorhead Brewers on Sunday in the title game. The Brewers defeated the Merchants 7-5 to win their second consecutive tournament title.
The Merchants jumped out early on Brewer pitcher Kyle Kingsley, putting up four in the first, highlighted by a two RBI single by Dan Ross. Brady Anderson tacked on a solo homer to right field to give the Merchants 5-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second.
However, things quickly went south for starting pitcher Turner Storm. After two quick doubles got the Brewers on board, Storm looked like he was going to get out of the inning allowing only one run but the Brewers had other plans.
Moorhead started a two-out rally with a walk and a hit by pitch and then followed that up with five consecutive base hits.
“Boy did they p%ss on the ball that inning, said Storm as he chatted up with pitching coach Jeff Nold after the game.
In all, the Brewers put up seven runs in the bottom of the second and that was all they needed as the Merchants meager offense could not score the rest of the game.
The Merchants advanced to the title by winning their two opening round games against the Pelican Rapids Lakers and the Dilworth Raildogs.
In Friday night’s opener against Pelican Rapids, the Merchants spotted starter Brandon Baumgartner nine runs in the first inning. Baumgartner was good enough to get through five and get his first win of the season as the Merchants won 9-2.
Dakotah Kirchenwitz, who is no longer “lost in the sauce,” continued to crush the ball at the plate, leading the Merchants with three hits against the Lakers.
On Saturday, the Merchants walked off again against the Raildogs. Brady Anderson provided a gutsy effort on the mound throwing both left and right handed in relief of the injured starter Greg Lunski.
Bryan Erstad won the game for the Merchants when he smacked a double into the right center gap to score Preston Jensen in the bottom of the seventh to give the Merchants a 4-3 victory.
The Miller Lite Merchants (3-1) are back in action on Wednesday at No Name Field against the FM Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:02 PM.
Notes: Before losing the past two Brewers Invite title games to the Moorhead Brewers, the Merchants lost to the Champlin LoGators in the 2014. The 2015 tournament was rained out. Steve Hirchert’s x-ray on his right hand was negative, he has been placed on the 10-Day DL retroactive to May 18th.
Miller Lite Merchants Begin 2017 Season with Walk-Off Win
Fargo, ND – Anthony Fontana scored the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth as the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants started the season off on the right foot with a 6-5 victory over the Dilworth Raildogs.
“I knew we needed a baserunner,” Fontana said. “ I was very patient at the plate and ended up drawing a walk.”
The Merchants were given a solid start by Sam Hirchert. Sam battled through four innings, only giving up three runs.
In the fifth, Bryan Erstad broke open a 3-3 ball game with a two RBI double up in the Jetstream over the centerfielder’s head.
However, the Raildogs got those two runs right back in the sixth. Cole Honl crushed a two-run homer off reliever Brandon Baumgartner to tie things up.
“I guess that’s what happens when you throw a fastball letters high, right down the middle of plate,” Baumgartner said.
Dan Ross and Jameson Benson combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief to keep the score tied until Fontana scampered home in the ninth following the Raildogs’ third passed ball of the inning.
In his debut, New Jersey native Alec Sames reached base four times and also collected his first career hit as a Merchant.
Also, out of his semi-retirement, Steve Hirchert played a beautiful shortstop turning two double plays and navigating the position flawlessly. Unfortunately for Steve he was hit by a pitch in the hand. The x-rays were negative, but the doc told him he’d be on the shelf for 7-10 days. The Merchants thought that might have been the last they’d see of Steve this year, but he assured them he’d be back with a vengeance.
The Miller Lite Merchants (1-0) will take part in the Moorhead Brewers Tournament at Jack Williams Stadium this weekend.
Moorhead Brewers Tournament Schedule:
Friday, May 19 – Pelican Rapids Lakers – 8:15 PM
Saturday, May 20 – Dilworth Raildogs – 11:00 AM
Saturday, May 20 – Moorhead Brewers – 5:45 PM
Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants: Season Preview
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Jamestown, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants will begin the 2017 season looking to rebound from last year’s disappointing third place finish in the North Dakota Class AAA State Tournament.
Bryan Erstad will be at the helm leading the Merchants yet again as they begin their quest for their 9th AAA title. The Merchants 29-game schedule is highlighted by tournaments in Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Jamestown. The season will culminate at the newly renovated dugouts of Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown, North Dakota on the weekend of August 18-20.
“We have another busy summer ahead of us, we already have 29 games scheduled with a few more that are in the works. I’m really hoping to test this team early and see what they are made of,” stated Erstad.
At the plate, the Merchants will have to look for someone to replace one of their top offense threats, Jared Meiklefish. Meiklefish led the Merchants in hitting last year and was consistent threat at the top of lineup.
“Losing Jared will hurt but I believe some of our older/new guys are ready to step up and take his place,” says Erstad.
The core of the Merchant lineup will return yet again with Erstad, Preston Jensen and Jared Purdy leading the charge. Those three all batted over .300 last year, with Erstad leading the way at .397.
On the mound, the Merchants have their top three pitchers back: Brandon Baumgartner, Greg Lunski and Sam Hirchert. Those three threw 66% of the innings last year for the Merchants.
“It’s going to be great to have those three back this year. You know they are going to give us a great outing night in and night out,” stated pitching coach and Mayor of Enderlin, Jeff Nold.
In addition to all the old guys, Merchant recruiting coordinator Brandon Baumgartner and his area scouts have been hot on the trail in the offseason looking for some new young talent. He feels he has three promising stars in Concordia standouts Jake Stilwell and Alec Sames along with Tony Viger who is coming off a professional season last year.
While Stilwell is technically not a rookie he plans to play more than three games with the Merchants this year which will help tremendously.
Sames is a catcher/utility player from New Jersey that has had a lifelong goal of playing for the Merchants. Welcome to the team, Alec.
Viger already has unrealistically high expectations set for him, but says he doesn’t mind. All he knows how to do is play anywhere, drop bombs, then come in to close games down.
The Miller Lite Merchants begin the 2017 season on Wednesday, May 17 at No Name Field against the Dilworth Raildogs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, the first fan in attendance will get a Milwaukee’s Best Light courtesy of Miller Lite.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support of Merchant Baseball: Miller Lite, Buffalo Wild Wings, Padgett Business Services, and Shady's Restaurant and Lounge.
Baumy ends losing streak to Brewers
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Fargo, ND – After 11 straight defeats at the hands of the Moorhead Brewers, the Jamestown Miller Light Merchants finally broke through and defeated the Brewers 4-3 Sunday night at Jack Williams Stadium.
Early in the game it looked like the Brewers would extend their streak to 12. Merchant starter Brandon Baumgartner gave up a first inning two-run homer to Landon Uetz to put the M’s in an early hole.
“I thought here we go again”, stated Baumgartner who was 0-5 in his career against the Brewers coming into the game tonight.
The Brewers tacked on another run in the third to extend their lead to 3-0. The score would stay that way till the fifth. The Merchants loaded the bases with no outs against Brewers starter Ryan Olson. Jared Purdy got the Merchants on the board first with an RBI single.
The big hit of the inning came from Brady Anderson, who was in his first game back from the MINK League. Anderson’s two RBI single to left with the bases loaded tied the game up at three.
After the Merchants tied it up, Baumgartner shut down the Brewers bats the rest of the night, allowing only four Brewers to reach base the rest of the game.
The winning run for Merchants came in the sixth. Dakotah Kirchenwitz reached base via walk and Bryan Erstad laced a clutch two out RBI single to left field to give the M’s the lead.
Baumgartner scattered nine hits on the mound to pick up his seventh victory for the year. Andrew Hill along with Purdy and Anderson each had two hits for the Merchants.
The victory for the Merchants was their first against the Brewers since June 23, 2013.
The Merchants (17-7) will look to wrap up the regular season Wednesday night at Merchant Field against the Mayville Redcaps.
Ross and Nold lead Merchants to win over Gators
By Merchants beat writer, Billy Bumbomber
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants scored three runs in the top of the eighth to beat the FM Gators 10-7 at Merchant Field on Wednesday night.
The Merchants jumped out to a 7-3 lead after five innings, highlighted by a Dan Ross solo homer in the third.
Ross also tossed 4.1 innings of one-hit ball on the mound; he cruised through his first four innings until he ran into trouble in the seventh.
The Gators strung together a couple walks along with a few Merchant errors to put up a four spot in the seventh to tie the game.
The Merchants answered back with three in the top of the eighth to take a 10-7 lead, the M’s were able to hold the Gators scoreless for the last two innings to improve to (16-7) on the year.
Andrew Hill threw two innings of relief to pick up his first career Merchant win. At the plate Jeff Nold led the Merchants with a three-hit day while Bryan Erstad added two hits and the go ahead RBI in the 8th inning.
The Merchants next game will be on August 7th against the Moorhead Brewers at Jack Williams Stadium in Fargo. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Pitching leads Merchants to Doubleheader Sweep
By Merchants beat writer Billy Bumbomber
Jamestown, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants got back on track Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium with a pair of 1-0 victories over the Jamestown Greyhounds and the Jamestown Elks.
Pitching was the story of the afternoon for the Merchants.
In game one against the Hounds, starter Brandon Baumgartner tossed a three-hit shutout. Baumgartner struck-out eight batters while not allowing a single Greyhound to reach second base.
The Merchants scored their only run of the game in the third. A pair of two out singles by Andrew Hill and Kevin Gall brought Bryan Erstad to the plate. Erstad crushed a 0-2 fastball over the centerfielders head that scored Hill to give the Merchants their only run of the game.
In game two against the Elks, Merchant starter Sam Hirchert one-upped Baumgartner by taking a no-hitter into the seventh. Sam gave up a lead-off single in the seventh but managed to retire the next three Elks in order to complete his one-hit shutout.
At the plate the Merchants managed only six hits; they plated their only run in the fifth on a base hit by Merchatfish pick up, Devin Piehl.
The Merchants are now (15-7) on the year and return to play this Wednesday at 7:00 PM against the FM Gators.
Merchant’s shutout in Enderlin, Win the trip home
By Merchants beat writer Billy Bumbomber
Enderlin, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants were shutout 1-0 Friday night in Enderlin at Hendrickson Field.
The Merchant bats were dominated all night long. The M’s could only muster two hits while striking out 18 times.
The lone bright spot for the Merchants was on the mound. Anthony Fontana was dominant, allowing one unearned run in eight innings of work.
Bryan Erstad and Preston Jenson collected the only two hits for the M’s.
Jeff Nold contributed in a big way by booking a party bus (from South Dakota for some reason) for transportation. The Merchants made sure to stop at many local establishments on the long hard depressing drive back to the city lights of Fargo. Somehow, they managed to collect themselves and persevere. There were even a few key events that took place that night. “Eddie Merchant” finally joined Facebook, the Kirchenwitz brothers took their Christmas card picture at the Leonard bar, and Dakotah ate a goldfish.
The Merchants travel to Jamestown Sunday for a double-header against the Greyhounds and the Elks.
By Merchants beat writer Brandon Baumgartner
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants saw their five game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Mayville Redcaps Wednesday night at Merchant Field.
Batting with three pitchers in the lineup the Merchants were unable to string hits together against the soft tossing Mayville pitchers.
After scoring two in the first and one in the second the Merchant bats went cold for the next five innings as Mayville came back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
In the eighth, Joe Vannett led off with a walk and advanced to third after a ground out and a wild pitch. Brandon Baumgartner then hit a routine ground out to the Mayville second baseman that was playing back which allowed Vannett to easily score from third to tie the game up.
In the ninth, Baumgartner allowed a one out walk to Mayville’s catcher, after a wild pitch and a strikeout Mayville’s sixth batter blooped a two-out single into center field that allowed the Redcaps to take a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth the Merchants were able to put two runners on with two outs but Bryan Erstad popped up to third to end the game.
“We really should have pulled this one out tonight, but who cares we have Enderlin on Friday. The Mayor’s coming to town!” stated the Mayor of Enderlin, Jeff Nold, as he crushed a freshly opened Beast.
The Merchants travel to take on the Indies of Enderlin Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM; the M’s will depart on the team bus around 5:00 PM at Nold’s house.
NOTES: Brandon Baumgartner went 1-4 at the plate and extended his hit streak to 13 games.
Fried Catfish yet again
By Merchants beat writer Brandon Baumgartner
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants fried the Cass County Catfish yet again at Merchant Field on Wednesday night 13-2, to extend their win streak to five.
The Merchants jumped on Catfish starter Gage Ausmus early taking a 3-0 lead after two.
Shane Wolf battled the wet conditions and silenced the Catfish all night, throwing six innings of two-run ball to pick up his first career Merchant win. He promptly celebrated by heading to The Turf for Mug Night.
The Merchant bats exploded for multiple runs in the fifth and sixth and three runs a piece in the seventh and eighth to end the game via the ten-run rule after eight.
At the plate the Merchants were highlighted by Doppler Dan Ross as he hit his second home run of the season. Joe Vannett and Jared Meiklejohn each added three hits for the M’s.
The Miller Lite Merchants will take on the Mayville Redcaps next Wednesday at Merchant Field.
Merchants win the Dale "Gopher" Lien Memorial Baseball Tournament
By Merchants Staff, Brandon Baumgartner
Jamestown, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants won the Dale “Gopher” Lien Memorial Baseball Tournament this past weekend at Jack Brown Stadium.
The Merchants won all three games this weekend behind a dominant pitching staff and some decent hitting.
In the title game on Sunday, the Merchants defeated the Jamestown Elks 7-3. The M’s were in control all game long. Scoring single runs the first four inning to take a 4-1 lead after four.
The Merchants then added three insurance runs in the sixth. Two of those three came off the bat of Bryan Erstad when he crushed a 1-1 slider over the right field fence and into the river.
Brandon Baumgartner threw all seven for the Merchants to improve to (5-1) on the year.
On Saturday, the Merchants fried the Catfish and then snuck by Groton, South Dakota to earn a spot in the title game.
Against the Cass County Catfish the Merchants received a stellar outing on the mound from Chase Carpenter. Chase went all seven innings allowing only five Catfish to reach base all day.
The Merchant bats were led by Bryan Erstad yet again who went yard in the M’s four-run third to give them all the runs they would need as they won 5-0.
Against a scrappy Groton squad, the Merchants held on to a 4-3 victory behind another strong pitching performance. This time it was Sam Hirchert, Sam went the distance for the Merchants allowing no earned runs and striking out seven Groton batters.
The offense was supplied by Joe Vannett who hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give the Merchants a 4-1 lead at the time. Groton came back and scored two runs in the fifth to make it a one-run game, but Sam silenced the Groton bats in the last two innings as the Merchants held on to the one-run victory.
The Merchants have now won back-to-back Gopher tournaments. A special thanks to Shady’s Bar for hosting the tournament yet again this year.
The Miller Lite Merchants are back in action Wednesday as they will look to fry the Catfish yet again. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00PM.
Merchants hang on to defeat the Miners
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants held off a furious comeback by the Moorhead Miners Wednesday night and came away with a 7-6 victory.
The Merchants were in control most of the game as they jumped out to a four run lead in third inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double by Bryan Erstad.
Starting pitcher Brandon Baumgartner held the Miners scoreless for the first six innings until they scored one off of him in the seventh.
The Merchants responded with two more runs in the eighth to make the score 6-1 heading to the bottom of the inning.
However, the Miners started their comeback off reliever Sam Hirchert by scoring two in the eighth. The M’s added an insurance run in the ninth to make the score 7-3, but the Miners were not done.
The Miners strung four hits, a couple walks and a hit batter to plate three runs and load the bases with two outs in the ninth. Sam buckled down with the winning run on second and got the Miners leadoff hitter to pop out to third to end the game.
With the win the Miller Lite Merchants move to (9-5) on the year and will host the Dale “Gopher “Lein Memorial Baseball Tournament sponsored by Shady’s Bar this weekend at Jack Brown Stadium.
Saturday - July 9th
10:00 AM – Elks vs. Groton, SD
Noon – Cass County Catfish vs. Merchants
2:00 PM – Groton, SD vs. Merchants
Sunday – July 10th
10:00 AM – Catfish vs. Elks
Noon – Groton, SD vs. Catfish
2:00 PM– Elks vs. Merchants
NOTES: Brandon Baumgartner extended his team leading 11 game hit-streak by going 1 for 3 at the plate Wednesday night. Merchant Brady Anderson who is off playing in the MINK Collegiate Summer League was named to the MINK All-Star team this week. Congratulations Brady! Also Hairball plays at the Red River Valley Fair next Wednesday, so get ready to rock.
Purdy’s Birthday Night gets Chomped by the Gators
Fargo, ND – The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants took a 3-0 lead into the 7th inning but could not hold on as the bullpen gave up four runs in the 7th as the Merchants lost 4-3 to the FM Gators at No Name Field on Wednesday night.
Starter Greg Lunski was stellar on the mound for the Merchants as he went six scoreless innings only allowing four hits.
However, in the 7th, Merchant reliever Zach Noriega allowed the first five Gators to reach base as they evened the score up at three. Brandon Baumgartner relieved Noriega but gave up a sac fly that scored the eventual winning run for the Gators.
The Merchants continued to leave numerous runners on base as they have all year long. The M’s had 16 base runners on Wednesday but were only able to score three of them.
Bryan Erstad, Joe Vannett and Brandon Baumgartner each had two hits for the Merchants; Baumgartner drove in two of the three runs.
As for the birthday boy, J-Rod went 1 for 4 at the plate and was rewarded with the DH spot for the game. J-Rod and the Merchants are now 5-2 lifetime on his birthday.
The Merchants (8-5) take the Fourth of July weekend off and play next Wednesday against the Moorhead Miners.
Big seventh lifts Merchants over Elks
A Good Ole Fashion Fish Fry
Fargo, ND – The Merchants snapped their three game losing streak Wednesday night as they defeated the Cass County Catfish 11-1 at No Name Field.
The game was close through the first 5½ innings as the Merchants clung to a 3-1 lead. However, a clutch two out, two RBI single by Jameson Benson helped the M’s put up a four spot in the sixth. In the seventh, the new Catfish pitcher walked six of the first seven batters he faced as the Merchants added four more to end the game via the ten-run rule.
The Merchants were paced offensively by newcomer Andrew Hill and “Doppler” Dan Ross who both collect two hits apiece. Ross continues to bust out of his early season slump, he has now gone 5 for 9 in his past three games. “I’ve been putting in a lot of extra soft toss lately, my wife (Dana) is a soft toss expert and has really been teaching me to drive the ball to all fields,” stated Ross as he took a bite of his Spicy Garlic wing at Buffalo Wild Wings Wednesday night.
Joe Vannett and Jason Angelo also had two hits each as the Merchants had eleven hits in all.
On the mound, the Merchants Big 4 held the Catfish hitters to one run on six hits, while walking three and striking out fourteen batters.
The Merchants take the weekend off and return to the field next Wednesday to take on the Jamestown Elks. First pitch schedule for 7:00 PM at No Name Field. Fans, please remember to show up early next week as the first ten fans in attendance will receive a piece of elk jerky courtesy of Miller Lite.
The Sunday Blues Continue for the Merchants
Detroit Lakes, MN – For the second tournament in a row the Jamestown Merchants advanced to the Sunday title game only to come up short. This time the M’s lost to the Jamestown Elks 4-1 in the title game of the Angels Amateur Tournament in Detroit Lakes.
The Merchants yet again stranded numerous runners. Team manager Bryan Erstad who went 3 for 3 at the plate could sense the outcome, “For whatever reason, there wasn’t a whole lot of life in the dugout today. It was a beautiful Sunday championship day versus the Elks and we laid an egg. It’s unacceptable. I think the Holiday Haven and Zorbaz had something to do with it, too.”
The Merchants had plenty of chances against the Elks but could only muster a single run in the seventh. The Elks padded their 1-0 lead with three runs in the sixth off Merchant starter Brandon Baumgartner to take a 4-0 lead entering the seventh. Baumgartner took the lost for the M’s going six innings while giving up four unearned runs. Baumgartner stated, “I didn’t have my best stuff but it was good enough to win today. It’s not my fault there were four more unearned runs” bringing his total to 8 runs allowed this year, 0 earned. Baumy continued, “Bryan Erstad carried the offense all weekend, but there’s only so much he can do. It’s not like he can hit a home run every game.”
Erstad and the Merchant pitching were the story of the first two games of the tournament.
On Friday night, Greg Lunski fired six scoreless innings on the mound against the Staples Lumberbats to collect his first win of year as the M’s won 7-0. Lunski struck out eight and only allowed three hits.
The Merchants only had five hits, Jason Angelo and Bryan Erstad each had two apiece, with Erstad connecting on his first home run of the year to open the game up in the fifth.
On Saturday, Steve Hirchert and Bryan Erstad punched the Merchants ticket to the title game beating the Detroit Lakes Angels 3-2. Hirchert struck out 13 Angel batters, while Erstad provided the Merchants with their only offense of the game blasting a three run home run off the playground in right-center.
The Merchants take the diamond on Wednesday against the Pelican Rapids Lakers at Helling Field in Fargo; first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
Sam Chomps Down on the Gators
Fargo, ND – On a chilly Wednesday night at Helling Field, Sam Hirchert led the Merchants to a 7-3 victory over the FM Gators.
Hirchert tossed six scoreless innings on the mound for Merchants to collect his first win of the season. “My arm took a couple innings to loosen up in the cold weather but once it did those Gators didn’t stand a chance,” commented Sam as he downed a Beast in the parking lot.
The M’s were led at the plate by Anthony Fontana who continued his hot hitting with another multi-hit game. “I contribute my hot start at the plate to the countless amount of free Beast that Bstad brings us, I really appreciate it,” stated Fontana as he spoke with Merchant beat reporter Catherine Ross.
Bryan Erstad also had two hits for the Merchants who had nine hits total for the night.
The M’s will travel to the Angels Amateur Tournament in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota this weekend. The first game of the weekend is scheduled for 6:30 PM Friday night against the Staples Lumberbats.
NOTES: The Merchants say good-bye to Joe Demers and Brady Anderson for the summer as they head off to play in their respective collegiate summer leagues. We wish them the best of luck.
Merchants Fall Short and Finish Runner-Up at the Herd & Horns Invitational
Fargo, ND – “We just couldn’t get that big hit when we needed it,” stated Merchant centerfielder Bryan Erstad. The Merchants ended up stranding ten runners in the title game of the Herd & Horns Invitational at Jack Williams Stadium in Fargo over the weekend.
The Miller Lite Merchants out hit the Moorhead Brewers eight to four in the title game. However, the Brewers were able to string three of those four hits together in the fifth and score the only run of the ball game as they claimed the title beating the Merchants 1-0.
Sam Hirchert had a stellar outing on the mound for the Merchants, going all seven innings and only giving up one run.
Jared J-Rod Purdy led the Merchants at the plate going three for four. Dakotah Kirchenwitz and Bryan Erstad each added two hits.
The Merchants swept through pool play by beating the FM Gators 7-2 on Friday night behind the strong pitching performance of Steve Hirchert and another three hit game by J-Rod.
On Saturday, the M’s beat the Pelican Rapids Lakers 3-2 to clinch a spot in the title game. Brandon Baumgartner went the distance for the Merchants throwing all seven, in what was a sloppy game by both the teams.
The Merchants (3-1) look to rebound on Wednesday against Pelican Rapids, game time is moved back to 7:30pm at Helling Field.
Fontana and new catchers gear lead the M's to 5-0 victory over the FM Mets in the season opener
Fargo, ND – For the first time in 8 years, the Merchants had new catchers gear. “Boy did I look sharp tonight, catcher Anthony Fontana said. “I might not give up a passed ball all year.”
The new Merchant catcher's gear gave Fontana confidence at the plate too; the Merchant backstop led the way at the plate going three for four with a triple.
“I think the new gear just gave me that extra swagger today,” stated Fontana while he downed a Beast in the parking lot.
The Merchant pitching staff must have felt comfortable throwing to Fontana in that new gear. Five Merchant pitchers combined to strikeout 19 Mets, while only giving up two hits.
Brandon Baumgartner filled in for usual opening day starter Greg Lunski and got the win for on the mound for the Merchants, throwing two scoreless innings in the pre-determined split.
After a taking a year off, Steve Hirchert made his comeback by striking out the side in his only inning on the mound and getting a line drive base hit in his only at bat.
The Merchants head to the Herd & Horns Invitational this weekend. Their first game is on Friday at 6:15 pm at Jack Williams Stadium in Fargo.
Merchants Win State!
Back on top; Merchants clip Red Caps for ninth amateur crown
It's been a long time since Mayville last won a state amateur baseball tournament.
Not so for the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants, who were created by Tom and Jeff Gould 26 years ago and now are in the very capable hands of Bryan Erstad.
After winning in 2013, but falling short last summer, the Merchants reclaimed the Class AAA crown on Sunday, beating the Mayville Red Caps 6-4 at Jack Brown Stadium.
The Merchants also beat their longtime in-town rival Sunday -- the Jamestown Elks -- 5-0 in the semifinals.
With Erstad and fellow Jamestown High graduates Jared Purdy and Joe Vannett still going strong, the Merchants also have new blood pumping through the roster in the likes of Brady Anderson and Brandon Baumgartner, both of whom figured prominently into the ninth state championship in team history.
The Merchants' pitching depth continues to set them apart.
"It is good to see these teams getting better and improving," said Baumgartner, who pitched at Jack Brown Stadium during his American Legion days with Coon Rapids, Minn. "Everybody wants to do well, but it's also just a lot of fun to be out here playing ball and having fun."
"I told all the college guys, 'hey, have fun,'" Mickey said smiling. "For me, the fun is over. It's back to work."
Red Caps 001 000 003 -- 4 9 3
Highlights, Merchants, Brady Anderson 4-5 2 2B, RBI, R; Joe Vannett 2-4, 2 RBI, R; Dan Ross 1-3; Joey Demers 1-4 R. Redcaps, Brady Nygaard 3-5 2 2B; Alex Berry 1-5 2B, 2 RBI; Austin Monson 2-4; Preston Kath 1-3, R; Chase Elliott 1-3, R; Connor Weber 1-3 R.
Brady Takes AAA MVP Honors
Amateur MVPs announced
Young players swept the MVP awards for the 2015 state amateur baseball tournaments.
Two Jamestown High School graduates and a California native have earned the awards.
In Class A, the Gackle Merchants outscored their two opponents 16-2 and Brian Wenzel was on the mound for all 12 innings.
The University of Jamestown recruit allowed just two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Wenzel also went 3-for-8 at the plate and scored three runs en route to earning MVP honors.
Gackle, which essentially was the Jamestown Legion team, beat Fairview 9-0 and the Jamestown Tarno Townies 7-2.
The Townies had a good tournament, going 2-1. Veteran and many-time MVP Cory Anderson pitched 14 solid innings. Mike Rerick had a dominant 14-strikeout performance for Tarno and slugging Sam Joseph had four hits, including a home run and double.
The Hounds scored 25 runs in their 3-0 run and Rocamora drove in eight of them. Rocamora had a grand slam, two-run homer and a run-scoring double in the tournament. In all, he finished 4-for-7 and also walked three times.
Now, his son Brady has one of his own.
Brady, who still has two years of eligibility remaining at Valley City State after sitting out last season, had three doubles in the Class AAA tournament. He scored four runs, stole a base and had just one error in four games at shortstop for the Merchants, who outscored their four opponents 35-10 in the tournament.
Merchants Beat Bismarck and Mayville, Advance to Semi-Finals
Red Caps win late: Pitching leads Merchants
The Class AAA semifinals on Sunday were both clean, well-played games with some late heroics on the opener and a strong pitching performance in game 2.
Mayville got a walkoff winner from Brandon Kath, while Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants lefty Brandon Baumgartner was stellar in a two-hit shutout.
Mayville 4, Jamestown Hounds 3
Mayville earned its spot in the title game with a last-at-bat win.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Preston Kath singled home Mickey Berry as the Redcaps edged the Jamestown Hounds 4-3 in a cleanly played game.
Berry had opened the inning with a double, his third hit of the game.
Mayville finished with 12 hits led by a 3-for-3 performance from Connor Weber.
Neither team made an error in the game.
Baumgartner had five 1-2-3 innings, allowing a single to Kyle Mallory in the third and a blooper in the seventh to Erik Peterson. He finished with four strikeouts.
The Merchants iced it with three in the fifth, capped by Anthony Fontana's two-out single to score Tom Houdek.
Veteran Greg Lunski tossed a complete game in the opener on Saturday for the Merchants.
The Merchants had eight hits in six innings, but also drew seven walks and the Bismarck Brewers committed four errors.
The Brewers' lone run came on an RBI double from Jay Crowley.
The Hounds hunted late to earn a spot in the semifinals.
Blaze Culliton and Nate Dinga locked horns in a pitchers' duel. Culliton allowed five hits in seven strong innings. Dinga yielded to Joe Solberg in the seventh.
Merchants 14, Redcaps 5, 5 Innings
The Merchants' right-hander went 4 1/3 innings on the mound and hit a grand slam in the top of the third inning.
Dan Ross had two hits and two RBI. Brandon Baumgartner and Thomas Houdek also had two hits.
Jamestown Elks 10, Bismarck Blue Jackets 4
The Elks trailed 2-0 after the first inning, but scored 10 of the last 12 runs of the game, putting it away with a four-run top of the seventh.
The win went to Joe Gebhardt, who worked the first five innings on the hill. Jon Spradlin got the last six outs to earn the save.
Class AAA State Tournament
Brewers 010 000 -- 1 2 5
Tim Long, Jay Crowley (2), Josh Standing Elk (4) and Nate Watson. Greg Lunski and Anthony Fontana. W--Lunski. L--Long.
Jamestown Greyhounds 2, Bismarck Blue Jackets 1
Hounds 000 000 2 -- 2 6 1
Highlights: Blue Jackets, Brandon Giesler 1-4, Patrick Gaylord 1-3, James Carroll 1-3 RBI; Irey 1-3; Dinga 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 SO. Hounds, Garrett Jackson 2-3, Nick Fuchs 2-2 BB; Jake Stilwell 1-3 RBI; Culliton 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB.
Merchants 606 20 -- 14 10 0
Jameson Benson, Dan Ross (5) and Anthony Fontana. Robbie Mashburn and Austin Monson. W--Benson. L--Mashburn.
Jamestown Elks 10, Bismarck Blue Jackets 4
Blue Jackets 200 110 0 -- 4 7 3
Highlights: Elks, Corry Shevlin 3-4 RBI; Mike Nelson 2-4 2B, RBI; Kyle Mallor 2-4 4 RBI; Gebhardt 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 SO, 3 BB. Blue Jackets, Brandon Geisler 2-4, Gaylord 1-3 2B, RBI; James Carroll 2-R HR in 1st; Tate Leapaldt 2-3 2B.
Hounds 101 010 0 -- 3 11 0
Levi Gaunska, Jake Stilwell (7) and Riley Schafer. Matt Tomblin, Preston Kath (6) and Austin Monson. W--Kath. L--Gaunska.
Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants 5, Jamestown Elks 0
Boya Quichocho, Ryan Sheeley (6) and Mike Nelson. Brandon Baumgartner and Anthony Fontana. W--Baumgartner. L--Quichocho.
Merchants walk off against Mayville in Regular Season Finale
Fargo, North Dakota – The Merchants entered the bottom of the ninth down 4-1. They had left thirteen runners on base through the first eight innings and even got two runners gunned down at the plate. By a minor miracle, things changed and the Merchants finished the regular season on a winning note.
“I’m really proud of how the guys stuck together tonight and kept grinding it out to get the win with their backs to the wall in the 9th inning,” stated Bryan Erstad who went 3 for 3 at the plate. He added, “They say you’re only as good as you’re last at bat. Well, I’m glad everyone forgot about that because there were no RBI’s in our last AB’s. We saved them for the end. It was a big character builder for the Merchants squad.”
Mayville helped out the M’s to begin the ninth by walking the first three of the four batters to load the bases. Mayville then brought in Mickey Berry to shut the door. Scott Stephenson battled Berry and drew a walk after an eight pitch at bat to make the score 4-2. Mayville then got Tom Houdek to ground into a fielder’s choice, where they managed to get the runner out at home to keep the score 4-2 with one out. Brandon Baumgartner stepped up to the plate next.
“Good thing he threw me a fastball, I had no chance at an off speed pitch,” stated Baumgartner as he crushed a Hardeez Thickbruger in the parking lot after the game.
Baumgartner lined the first pitch he saw from Berry over the second base man’s head bringing home two Merchants to even the score at four.
With the game now tied at four and runners on first and second, Mayville got the second out of the inning by striking out Anthony Fontana. That brought up Brady Anderson who was in a funk at the plate.
“I’ve been struggling all week long, I had to be like 0 for my last 20, it was about time I got a hit,” stated Brady after he got mauled by his teammates.
Anderson promptly laced a single up the middle scoring the winning run for the Merchants to cap off a four run ninth to beat Mayville 5-4.
“Doppler” Dan Ross picked up his first career Merchant win by throwing two scoreless innings of relief for starter Brandon Baumgartner.
The Merchants ended the regular season with a 15-8 record. Next up for the M’s will be the AAA State Tournament. The state tournament will take place August 14-16 at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown. It is a 6 team pool play tournament with the Merchants facing the Bismarck Brewers at 11:00 am and Mayville at 3:00 pm on Saturday. Sunday is single elimination with semi-final games at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm and the championship at 3:00 pm.
Merchants Pound Out 17 Hits in Victory over Elks
Valley City, North Dakota- “It was great to be back in Valley (City). I was able to go to my old gym, get a good lift in and stop by Hardeez on the way to the ballpark. I felt very comfortable on the mound and at the plate today, it was like home,” stated former Valley City State standout baseball player and winning pitcher Scott Stephenson.
Stephenson did it all for the Merchants on Sunday at Charlie Brown Stadium against the Jamestown Elks.
Scott fired eight solid innings on the mound in his first start of the summer. The Elks managed only three runs on nine hits, while Scott struck out five batters. Stephenson also did damage at the plate by going 3 for 5, he scored three of the Merchants ten runs.
“My fastball had to be hitting 90 today along with my hammer of a curveball. I don’t think the Yankees would have beaten me,” said Scott as he did some post game pushups in the parking lot.
The Merchants knocked the Elks pitching around all day. Lewis Weldon led the M’s at the plate by going 5 for 5 with a double and three RBI’s.
Dan Ross started the scoring off for the Merchants with a solo homer in the second inning. Bryan Erstad hit a two-run homer for the Merchants in the fifth to break open a 3-3 tie. The Merchants would tack on four more in the sixth to blow the game open and cruise to 10-3 victory.
Joe Vannett, Brian Dafforn and Dan Ross each had multi-hit games for the M’s as a part of the 17 hit attack on Sunday.
The Merchants improved to 14-8 on the year. The M’s will host Mayville in their regular season finale on Wednesday at Helling Field in Fargo. The first ten fans in attendance will receive a Jeff Nold postcard courtesy of Hardeez. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.
Party Bus, Stephenson lead Merchants to Win over Enderlin
Enderlin, North Dakota – The Merchants rode in style on a 30 passenger bus to Enderlin on Friday night in what turned out to be the “Scott Stephenson Show.”
“I hit the gym so hard this morning, I knew we had a big game tonight and my team needed me to step up,” stated the burly Stephenson. Scott shined on the field and at the VFW after the game setting a record for slices of Hegge’s pizza eaten.
Stephenson, the Merchants regular left fielder led the M’s at the plate by going 2 for 4 with a solo homer that drilled a passing by train in centerfield. Last we heard, Scott’s ball was still travelling on the train somewhere down in Missouri.
However, it was on the mound where Scott really showed his dominance.
The Indies looked baffled all night while Scott mixed in upper 80’s fastballs and knee buckling curveballs as the sun went down on the dimly lit Enderlin field. “You think those guys go to the gym seven days a week like me? I don’t think so,” stated Scott while he downed his postgame protein shake.
Stephenson was phenomenal on the mound, throwing four scoreless innings of relief for starter Greg Lunski. Stephenson allowed only one hit and struck out ten batters.
“I haven’t seen a shutdown performance like this in a while,” stated the self proclaimed "Mayor of Enderlin," Jeff Nold while he crushed some post game Hardeez on the party bus.
The Merchants collected ten hits in total and broke a tie ball game open with a five-run fifth inning. Stephenson shut the door the rest of the way and collected his second save of the year.
On a down note, Preston Jensen was hit by a pitch and broke his hand. It’s not looking good as far as PJ getting back on the field this year. We wish him the best and know he will be back stronger than ever next year!
The Merchants (13-7) will travel to
Target Field West Fargo on Wednesday to play the Moorhead Brewers. Game time scheduled for 7:00 PM.
Merchants come up short against the Brewers
Fargo, North Dakota – The Merchants lost 4-3 against the Moorhead Brewers Wednesday night at Helling Field.
Sam Hirchert started for the Merchants and was phenomenal for the first six innings. However, he ran into some trouble in the seventh. The Brewers scored three runs all coming on a three run home run by Tom Fuchs.
“Would I have liked to throw a CG shutout? Of course. Was I dominating for the most part tonight? Of course. That tall 8 hitter sat back on a 3-2 curveball and popped it up over the right field fence. What can I say? I’m only one guy. I can’t pitch and score runs for this team. I mean, I could, but might as well let the other guys play, too,” chimed Sam after the game on his way to Hardeez with his girlfriend.
The Brewers tacked on another run in the eighth off Baumy to make the score 4-2.
The Merchants threatened in the eighth picking up a run to make it 4-3, but were sent down in order in the ninth.
Tom Houdek collected two hits and Dan Ross drove in two runs for the Merchants in the loss.
The Merchants (12-7) will travel to Enderlin Friday night. First pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.
The Battle of the Purdy’s goes to J-Rod
J-Rod with an outstanding "take" on a high pitch.
Fargo, North Dakota- In the first ever North Dakota Amateur Baseball matchup between Purdy brothers, Jared “J-Rod” Purdy of the Jamestown Merchants came away victorious over his brother Daren and the Fargo Mets.
The J-Rod and Merchants shutout the Mets 3-0 in a rain shortened game Friday night at Teamsters Field.
J-Rod led the way for the Merchants knocking in two of the three Merchant runs with sac flies in his first two at bats.
“It was a big night for my family; we had fifteen to twenty Purdy’s in attendance. I’m just glad we were able to win” stated J-Rod while he, Darren and the rest of the Purdy family crushed some Hardeez after the game.
Brandon Baumgartner threw five scoreless on the mound for the Merchants; he allowed one hit and struck out nine batters.
The Merchants are now 12-6 on the year. Their next game will take place Wednesday night at 7:00 PM against the Red River Shrimpers. The first five fans in attendance will receive a copy of Forrest Gump on VHS.
Merchants Win "Gopher" Tournament Championship!
Jamestown, North Dakota – The Jamestown Merchants swept the field at the Dale “Gopher” Lien Memorial Baseball Tournament this weekend at Jack Brown Stadium.
The Merchants were carried by their pitching and a little bit of hitting this weekend.
In game one against the LaMoure Merchants, Paul Roers and Scott Stephenson fired a one-hitter. Roers was dominant the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. Stephenson came on for Roers with two guys on and one out, he proceed to strikeout out the next two batters to keep the 2-1 lead for the M’s intact. Stephenson finished the game in the seventh by striking out the side.
“I was really jacked up from all the front squats I did at the gym this morning. I was ready to go and shut the door on LaMoure,” stated the muscular Stephenson in mid push-up position.
The Merchant bats did just enough collecting only six hits with Stephenson and Brandon Baumgartner knocking in the two Merchant runs.
In game two against the Mayville Redcaps it was all Sam Hirchert. Hirchert allowed only two hits and struck out six for the complete game shutout.
“We had great defense behind me today. Although, I’m not really sure I needed it. The ball was coming out of my hand like Lunski leaves work for the lake at noon on a Friday, like a rocket,” stated Sam while he crushed some post game Hardeez with his girlfriend after the win.
The M’s scored four runs on seven hits in rout to the 4-0 victory over the Redcaps. Brady Anderson led the way with two hits.
The championship game of the “Gopher” Tournament came down to two bitter rivals as the Merchants squared off against the Jamestown Elks.
This matchup would become an instant classic.
It was a back and forth battle from the get go as the Merchants scored single runs in the first and second to take a 2-0 lead off Elks starter Boya Quichocho.
The Elks scored one run in the third and then regained the lead in the fourth as M’s starter Brandon Baumgartner was touched for two more runs giving the Elks a 3-2 lead after four.
The Merchants entered the bottom of the sixth still down one. A one out walk by Hirchert, followed by a Baumgartner single, set the stage for Brady Anderson.
“I knew it was gone right off the bat, it was a no doubter,” stated Brady as his ball barely scraped over the ivy in right field where the fence is only 300 feet.
Anderson’s three run homer gave the Merchants a 5-3 lead heading into the top of the seventh. Baumgartner allowed one Elk run in the seventh before getting the final out to clinch the “Gopher” Tournament Title.
Preston Jensen, Bryan Erstad and Scott Stephenson all collected multiple hits for the M’s.
“We had a great showing this weekend on the scoreboard. Our execution on shagging foul balls and helping get the field ready was very lackluster. One of these years I just request for a couple of guys to get off their a*ses before and between games to help on the field. I realize sitting in the Merchant room drinking Beasts, getting food from Hardeez, and showering are very important to you, but please, just please, give me 5 minutes of your time to help on the field!!” stated tournament director and Merchant centerfielder Bryan Erstad.
The Jamestown Merchants would also like to thank Miller Lite and Shady’s bar for sponsoring the tournament.
The Merchants have now won the Dale “Gopher” Lien Memorial Tournament five times. Jamestown (11-6) will look to continue their winning ways this Wednesday against the Kindred Kings. Start time is 7:00 PM at Helling Field in Fargo.
Merchants get Hairballed
Fargo, North Dakota – The Jamestown Merchants had their eight game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Mayville Redcaps Wednesday night at No Name Field.
The Merchants jumped out to the lead scoring a run in the top of first. Greg Lunski started and pitched three scoreless innings before he had to go to the legendary 80's rock cover band, Hairball, at the Red River Valley Fair. Once Greg left it was pretty much downhill for the M’s. A six run fourth and three run fifth for the Redcaps gave them a 9-1 lead after five.
"I know I let my team down and everything, but when the bombastic celebration of arena rock is in town I can't pass that up," chimed Lunski.
The Merchants managed to add three more runs to make the final score 9-4.
Scott Stephenson and Anthony Fontana combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief.
The Merchants will look to get back on track this weekend at the Dale "Gopher" Lien Memorial baseball tournament hosted by the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants and Shady's Bar. The four team tournament will consist of the Merchants, LaMoure, Mayville, and the Jamestown Elks. The M’s first game is scheduled for 2:15 PM vs. LaMoure at Jack Brown Stadium. The full schedule is listed below:
Saturday - July 11th
12:00 pm – Elks vs. LaMoure
2:15 pm – LaMoure vs. Merchants
4:30 pm – Mayville vs. Merchants
6:45 pm – Elks vs. Mayville
Sunday – July 12th
11:00 am – LaMoure vs. Mayville
1:15 pm – Elks vs. Merchants
Baumgartner Throws All 9 as Merchants Win 8th Straight
Fargo, North Dakota – The Merchants rode the arm of Brandon Baumgartner to defeat the Red River Shrimpers 7-3 on Wednesday night at Helling Field, the Merchants have now won eight in a row.
Baumgartner threw all nine innings for the M’s, scattering ten hits while giving up two earned runs and striking out thirteen Shrimpers. Baumgartner improved to 3-1 on the year.
The Merchant hitting was the story early in the game. The Merchants stranded multiple base runners in the first two innings but finally broke through in the third innings scoring three runs. Jamestown followed their three run third with three more in the fourth to take 6-0 lead.
The Shrimpers plated single runs against Baumgartner in the fourth, fifth, and sixth to make it a 6-3 game until the M’s scored an insurance run in the top of the eighth.
Five Merchants had multi hit games led by Jared J-Rod Purdy who went 4-5 with a triple. J-Rod upped his team leading batting average to .475 on the year.
“I’ve been crushing the ball all year. It just goes to show that no practice, non-existent workouts, and a diet of Taco John's and Hardeez is what it takes to put up these kind of numbers,” said J-Rod while he rounded second in rout to his third inning triple.
J-Rod and the M’s will take the Fourth of July weekend off before getting back on the diamond next Wednesday against the Redcaps of Mayville, First pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM
Vannett and Merchants Fry Shrimpers
Fargo, North Dakota – On a rainy Wednesday evening the Jamestown Merchants routed the Red River Shrimpers 9-1 to win their seventh in a row and improve to 7-5 on the year.
The Merchants jumped on the Shrimpers early with a four run first inning highlighted by Scott Stephenson’s two run double.
Sam Hirchert provided the Merchants with five strong innings on the mound giving up only one unearned run and striking out eight to pick up his second victory of the year.
The Merchants broke open a 4-1 game in the seventh off the bat of Joe Vannett, who laced a bases clearing triple into the right center gap. “I think that was my first Merchant triple since the 90’s,” stated Vannett who crushed the Shrimpers pitching all night, collecting three hits while driving in four runs.
The Merchants will have the weekend off before they look to fry the Shrimpers again next Wednesday, July 1st at Helling Field. First pitch 7:00 PM.
2015 Pelican Rapids Tournament Champions
Merchants Homer 6 Times in Rout to the Pelican Rapids Tournament Title
Pelican Rapids, Minnesota – The Jamestown Merchants mowed through the field at this past weekend’s Pelican Rapids Tournament. The Merchants went 3-0 and got their record over .500 for the first time this year and now sit at 6-5.
The Merchants began the weekend with a 6-4 victory over the Urbank Bombers. The M’s were led by the bat of Jared J-Rod Purdy, who went two for four with a solo homer and a double. Greg Lunski provide the Merchants with a solid start going 61/3 innings before giving way to Andrew Thome who got the last two outs to record the save.
“I’ve been carrying this offense all year, this weekend was no different,” said J-Rod after the win against Urbank.
J-Rod did not disappoint in the second game of the tourney either. Purdy and four other Merchants went yard against the Pelican Rapids Lakers in a 10-1 victory to move the M’s into the championship game on Sunday.
Along with Purdy: Bryan Erstad, Andrew Thome, Brady Anderson and Dan Ross all homered and gave starting pitcher Brandon Baumgartner plenty of run support, the lefty cruised to the complete game allowing one run and striking out six.
The Merchants entered Sunday’s championship game against the Kindred Kings with a question mark on the mound. The Merchants called upon Chase Carpenter to make his Merchant debut, he did not disappoint. Chase limited the Kings to only two hits and two runs over six innings and provided the M’s with the solid outing they needed.
The Merchant bats were led by Brady Anderson and Jameson Benson. Benson broke open a scoreless game in the fourth with a bases clearing double. Anderson brought Benson home during the M’s five run fourth. The Merchants tacked on another run in the sixth to win the championship game 6-2.
“It was a great weekend for me, my defense, my offense and my base running were all phenomenal, the rest of the team should take notes,” stated Purdy while he celebrated with the rest of his teammates after the game.
The Merchants will look to add to their six game win streak Wednesday against the Mayville Redcaps at Helling Field in Fargo. First pitch 7:00 PM.
Notes: Merchants outfielder/pitcher Andrew Thome signed as a free agent Tuesday with the Houston Astros. “The Merchants have been a cornerstone in my journey,” Thome stated during his press conference Tuesday morning. During his four games as a Merchant, Thome batted .500 (7-14) and threw 32/3 scoreless innings in relief. The Merchants wish him the best.
Doppler Dan Makes it Rain in Victory Over Kindred
Fargo, North Dakota- “It was a big night for me. It’s not everyday that my entire family shows up, so I figured I might as well show off,” Doppler Dan stated after the Merchants 8-1 victory over the Kindred Kings Wednesday night.
Ross continued his hot start for the Merchants by going 3 for 5 with two doubles; he bumped his batting average up to .400 on the year.
“I’ve just been seeing the ball really well this year, all the extra soft toss this off season with the wife has really paid off,” he said.
This game began as a pitchers duel going scoreless through the first three. In his Merchant debut Andrew Thome brought home the Merchants first run in the fourth with a two out RBI single.
The Merchants would tack on two in the sixth and add four more in the eighth to break open the game and win their third in a row.
Five Merchant pitchers stymied Kindred’s bats giving up only two hits and an unearned run.
Dan Ross and the hot hitting Merchants will look to continue this win streak in Pelican Rapids this weekend. First game of the tournament will be at 1:30 PM against Urbank, MN.
M’s top Kings 9-4 to Win Second in a Row
Fargo, North Dakota – On a balmy Wednesday evening at Helling Field, the Jamestown Merchants defeated the Kindred Kings 9-4 to improve to 2-5 on the year.
“It was nice to see the bats keep going today, we had struggled early on this year hitting, but after putting up 12 runs on Sunday we followed it up with 9 more tonight. I'm glad someone could finally give me some run support. It gets tiring carrying this team all by myself as I was pretty much on tonight," stated starting pitcher Brandon Baumgartner.
The Merchants jumped on the Kings early, scoring runs in each of the first 5 innings, highlighted by Brady Anderson’s first home run of the year. Baumy provided them with a solid outing exiting after five innings with an 8-3 lead.
Zach Hayes and Andrew Favaro each debuted for the M’s and combined to throw 3 scoreless innings of relief.
Both offenses pounded out 11 hits but it was Jamestown who came through in the clutch. Jared Purdy, Dan Ross and Anthony Fontana each collected two hits and drove in multiple runs for the M’s who are looking to turn it around after a slow start.
These two teams will meet again in Kindred this Wednesday, June 17, 2015. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
Generational success: Gould’s Merchants continue to thrive in amateur ball
Twenty five years ago, Tom Gould set out to start an amateur tournament for young and up-and-comers in Jamestown.
“We wanted to beat the Elks,” he said.
That was 1989 when the idea hatched and since has grown into the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants, who along with the Jamestown Elks have been the two dominant amateur teams in North Dakota for a generation.
Jeff Gould, who could fill a voluminous book with statistics and stories of years gone by — some fit for print, some not — recalls the early days vividly.
“I remember our college basketball team going up to dad’s place and on the countertop there were baseball pants on the table and I remember him saying, ‘We’re going to do this,’” Jeff recounted his dad Tom saying. “That was kinda where it all began.”
Back then, there was no sponsorship money. No fancy gear. They had to get creative, and a little devious, to make it work.
“We played a lot of road games, and we were good and we won a lot of games and in the bottom of the seventh or the bottom of ninth inning whoever caught the last out, we’d quick shake hands and get out of there … we’d steal the game ball. That way we’d have a good ball for the next game,” Jeff said. “We were stealing baseballs in Ellendale, Thompson, Hatton, Wishek … Twenty five years later this is kinda me saying sorry about that.”
Years later when a former Merchants alum — albeit for a short time — hit it big, stealing balls no longer became necessary.
“Thank God Darin (Erstad) made it to the Bigs. Every year he’d send 40 dozen boxes of baseballs to dad’s place with batting gloves and other equipment,” Jeff said. “We never had to worry about stealing baseballs anymore after that.”
The rivalry between the Elks and Merchants had begun in earnest prior to Erstad’s Big League career taking off. The Merchants won the 1993 Class AA state tournament, one of eight state titles the team owns.
“The mid and late 90s and early 2000s, the Elks and Merchants rivalry was the best in the state. Those are the types of games I miss the most in my old age,” the 44-year-old Gould said. “The Elks had all those fantastic players — the Hogans (Doug and Wayne), Bob Piatz, Cory Anderson and on and on — they were the measuring stick.
“If you could play with the Elks, maybe beat them, that was like the Holy Grail. You’d made it.”
The rivalry lives on strong today.
Since 2000, the two teams have won every Class AAA state title with the Merchants prevailing in 2001-2003, ‘06-08 and then last season.
This year’s Class AAA state tournament begins today at Jack Brown Stadium. The tournament has grown to six teams with the Fargo Expos, Fargo-Moorhead Bulldogs, Mayville Redcaps and Bismarck Capitals rounding out the field. Play continues on Saturday with the championship game set for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Bryan Erstad is now in charge of the Merchants, who have set a team-record in games played this season with 37, winning 25 of them. They’ve had to piece together lineups at times, using a total of 37 players, but they continue to field a strong squad.
“With the history and tradition of the Merchants you definitely feel a sense of wanting to continue what Tom and Jeff started and keep it going strong,” Bryan said. “We like to think we’re a desirable team to play for. But there are good teams out there, but I think guys know we’re going to have a good team and play a good schedule.”
As Jeff Gould pointed out, among the keys in having a sturdy amateur team is getting nine players committed to being there every night. In Gould’s day it was the Steve Bennions, Kevin Galls, Dave Flemings, Grant Geiszlers, Steve Hockerts and Joe Vannetts of the Jamestown baseball scene, while Erstad’s crew has staples like Jared Purdy, Greg Lunski and even Vannett still plays frequently.
It becomes like a family, both literally and figuratively.
For Gould, his grandpa (Jack Brown) was an Elks man and his uncle (R.D. Brown) ran the Elks for years and he says of his grandma Mirt, “She should be the first woman in the amateur baseball hall of fame. She knows more about amateur baseball than 99 percent of men.
“Whenever I’m back in the winter and I talk to KG (Kevin Gall) or Benny (Steve Bennion) or I talk to Darin (Erstad) or (Travis) Hafner, the first question is how’s the family? And then eventually the conversation turns to ‘How are the Merchants?”
Hafner, of course, being former Major Leaguer Travis Hafner, who played for the Merchants in the summer of 1996.
It’s all part of the fabric of a team now 25 years old, which still calls Jamestown home, and continues to go strong.
“For me, there’s no better place to spend a Saturday then at Jack Brown Stadium,” Jeff said. “My grandma’s in the stands, my dad runs the place. My uncle’s in the concession doing all of the things he does so well and my kids are there running around doing what we used to do.
“I have to think my grandpa is looking down smiling and thinking, ‘Not much has changed and that’s a pretty good deal.’”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460(701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Merchants Take Season Series with Mayville
Merchants register 25th victory
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants improved to 25-10 with a 3-1 win over the Mayville Redcaps on Wednesday night.
Brandon Baumgartner fired six strong innings, allowing just five hits with six strikeouts. The lone run the Redcaps got was unearned.
Sam Hirchert nailed it down with three scoreless frames to earn the save. Hirchert allowed three hits and fanned five.
Tom Houdek had two of the Merchants’ six hits. He also scored two of their runs.
Anthony Fontana went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Dan Ross had the other RBI for the Merchants, who are back in action Sunday against the Moorhead Brewers. The Class AAA state tournament is set for Aug. 22-24 in Jamestown.
Merchants beat LaMoure 9-1
Brandon Baumgartner went eight solid innings, recording 11 strikeouts as the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants defeated LaMoure 9-1 in amateur baseball play.
Jameson Benson had four hits for the winning team, including two doubles.
The Merchants play the Moorhead Brewers today.
Benson leads Merchants to win
The Jamestown Merchants used a strong performance by Jameson Benson to top the Jamestown Elks 3-2 in 10 innings during amateur baseball action on Wednesday in Fargo.
The former closer for the University of North Dakota went 4-for-5 from the five-hole in the order, belting in two runs, including the go-ahead RBI in the 10th.
Benson also came in to pitch the final three innings to record the win for the Merchants.
The Merchants led 2-1 until the Elks tied the game up 2-2 with a run in the top of the eighth. Dan Ross went 3-for-5 for the Merchants, while Steve Hirchert and Preston Jensen each posted a hit.
Hirchert also pitched the first seven innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out eight. The Elks committed four errors in the ball game, as the Merchants improved to 19-8 on the season.
The Merchants move on to face LaMoure in Fargo tonight.
Merchants 3, Elks 2
Elks 001 000 010 0 — 2 8 4
Merchants 000 200 000 1 — 3
Nold, Merchants top Indies
Jeff Nold clubbed two home runs, doubled and had three RBI to help the Jamestown Merchants over the Enderlin Indies 12-7 on Monday night.
Luke Anderson also went deep for the Merchants as part of a 3-for-5 outing. Three-hole hitter Bryan Erstad banged out three hits in six at bats with a double, run, two RBI and a stolen base.
Preston Jensen finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI. Anthony Fontana also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs as part of the Merchants’ 15-hit attack.
Jensen, the second of three pitchers, earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Brandon Baumgartner worked the eighth and ninth innings, without allowing a run, to notch the save.
The Merchants (18-8) played the Jamestown Elks Wednesday night in Fargo.
Hounds, Mercs split pair in Jamestown
Hits and runs were in abundant supply as the Jamestown Greyhounds and Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants met Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium.
The Merchants banged out 32 hits on the day and won the opener 7-6 in nine innings, while the Greyhounds totaled 20 hits and earned the split with a 16-15 victory in the nightcap.
The Merchants, now 15-6 on the season, play Mayville on Wednesday at Helling Field in Fargo.
Merchants 7, Greyhounds 6
Bryan Erstad went 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs as the Merchants won the opener in nine innings. Erstad also walked and stole a base.
Tied 6-6 through the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, the Merchants finally got the winner in the bottom of the ninth.
Jared Purdy added two hits and two RBI, while Brady Anderson also had two knocks.
Greg Lunski went all nine innings on the mound. Only one of the six runs he allowed was earned. He struck out six.
Greyhounds 16, Merchants 15
The Hounds led 16-12 entering the bottom of the seventh inning and were able to hold off a Merchants’ rally to win it, 16-15.
The Hounds scored four times in the first and fourth innings, and added three in the fifth, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Danny Fischer and Justin Connell were each 3-for-4 in the win.
Dan White had four hits for the Merchants, including two doubles.
Anderson, Scott Stephenson and Jeff Nold each added three hits as the Merchants pounded out 21 total.
Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium
Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants 7, Jamestown Greyhounds 6, 9 Innings
Greyhounds 020 310 000 — 6 7 0
Merchants 000 150 001 — 7 10 3
W—Greg Lunski. L—Levi Gaunska.
Highlights: Merchants, Scott Stephenson 1-4, R; Preston Jensen 0-4, R; Bryan Erstad 4-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, SB; Jared Purdy 2-5 2B, 2 RBI, R; Brady Anderson 2-3, R, SB, 2 BB; Dan Ross 1-3, RBI; Jeff Gould 0-3, R, BB.
Greyhounds 16, Merchants 14
Greyhounds 400 432 3 — 16 13 5
Merchants 030 612 3 — 15 21 5
Highlights: Greyhounds, Danny Fischer 3-4, 2 R, RBI; Shane Schoeneberg 2-4, 2 R, RBI; Justin Connell 3-4, 3 R, 3 RBI; Jake Stilwell 2-3, 2 R. Merchants, Stephenson 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R; Jensen 2-4, 2 RBI, R; Erstad 2-5, 2B, R, RBI; Purdy 1-5 2 R; Anderson 3-5, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI; Dan Ross 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI, BB; Dan White 4-5, 2 2Bs, 3 R, 2 RBI; Jeff Nold 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; Lunski 2-4, R.
Merchants top Expos
Bryan Erstad went 2-for-4 with three RBI as the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants beat the Fargo Expos 7-1 on Wednesday at Helling Field in Fargo.
The Merchants improved to 14-5 with the win, outhitting the Expos 10-4.
Preston Jensen added two hits, two runs and stole a base. Jameson Benson had a two-run double in the win. Leadoff man Scott Stephenson singled, walked and scored two runs.
Brandon Baumgartner, Greg Lunski and Sam Hirchert each pitched three innings, combining to allow just the one run on four hits with 14 strikeouts.
The Merchants play in Jamestown on Sunday, facing the Jamestown Greyhounds at Jack Brown Stadium. The doubleheader will follow Sunday’s Post 14 Alumni Game, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Merchants shut out Kings
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants recorded a 10-0 shutout over the Kindred Kings at Fargo’s Helling Field on Wednesday night.
The Merchants improved to 13-5 with the victory and will face the Fargo Expos on Wednesday.
Kindred 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Merchants 101 007 1 — 10 11 0
WP—Greg Lunski, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K’s. HLD—Sam Hirchert, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s.
Merchants post 12th win
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants squeezed in another win before the rains came on Wednesday night in Fargo League play.
The Merchants scored five runs in the top of the second inning.
Bryan Erstad banged out two doubles and a triple as part of a 3-for-3 game with two RBI for the Merchants. He also scored a run. Dan Ross doubled and scored in the win, while Greg Lunski was 1-for-1 with an RBI and a walk.
The Merchants are now 12-4 on the season. They took third at a tournament in Detroit Lakes the previous weekend. They’re back in action on Wednesday against Mayville.
Merchants 5, Fargo Expos 4
Merchants 050 01 — 6 6 0
Expos 004 00 — 4 5 1
Highlights: Erstad 3-3, 2 2B, 3B, R; Scott Stephenson 0-3 R, RBI; Preston Jensen 0-2, R, BB; Dan Ross 1-2 R; Ryan Birney 1-2 R; Steve Hirchert 0-1 R, BB; Lunski 1-1, RBI, BB.
Merchants sweep Elks, move to 9-2
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants upped its record to 9-2 with a sweep of the Jamestown Elks on Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium.
Jamie Villareal tossed six innings, allowing six runs, but only three were earned.
In the nightcap, before the downpour hit Jamestown, the Merchants scored one in the fourth and two in the seventh to win 7-4. It was tied 4-all after three innings.
Erstad had a hit and two RBI. Jensen scored twice, went 1-for-2 and had an RBI.
Hirchert had the lone multi-hit outing, going 2-for-4 with two runs and a double. Jared Purdy also doubled.
Paul Roers worked five innings of scoreless relief to get the win on the mound.
The Merchants are back in action on Wednesday, facing the Moorhead Brewers in West Fargo.
Merchants continue recent hot streak
Preston Jensen went 3-for-5 with a run and a stolen base to lead the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants’ 12-hit attack in a 6-2 win over the Fargo Expos on Wednesday.
The Merchants improved to 7-2 on the season and play the Jamestown Elks twice on Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium, beginning at 1 p.m.
Jameson Benson doubled twice out of the 9-hole and had three RBI for the Merchants, who led 4-0 after three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tom Houdek and Scott Stephenson added two hits each. Stephenson scored twice, stole a base and had an RBI.
Jared Purdy went 1-for-2 with a run, RBI and stolen base.
Brandon Baumgartner, the third of three pitchers, went three scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts to notch the save.
Merchants notch sixth victory
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants improved to 6-2 with a 5-4 win over the Mayville Redcaps in Fargo League play on Wednesday night.
The Merchants scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning and two in the eighth.
Nick Salentine went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. He also earned the save on the mound, pitching two innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Bryan Erstad swiped three bags, going 1-for-2 with a run and two walks. Joe Vannett had an RBI double. Brady Anderson and Jared Purdy singled and scored. Purdy added an RBI.
Derek Zitzow went the first seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts.
Merchants take second in F-M
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants placed second at a tournament in Fargo-Moorhead last weekend, winning three of their four games.
Merchants 4, St. Boniface Legionnaires 0
Former Jimmie Steve Hirchert fired a 2-hit shutout in the opener, a 4-0 win over St. Boniface Legionnaires (Minnesota).
Hirchert had eight strikeouts and walked just one.
Dan Ross went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Brady Anderson added two hits and scored. Nick Salentine was 1-for-4 with a run and RBI. Jared Purdy had a hit, run and two walks.
Merchants 4, Shakopee Indians 0
Luke Anderson followed Hirchert’s shutout with one of his own.
Anderson allowed just three hits to Shakopee, Minnesota in the 4-0 win.
The Merchants clubbed three home runs. Jared Purdy had a 2-run shot, while Dan Ross and Luke Anderson added solo shots. Anderson also had a double, while Bryan Erstad went 2-for-3 with a run and walk.
Merchants 5, Victoria Vices 1
The Merchants got another complete game in the semifinals as Brandon Baumgartner went the route in a 5-1 win.
Baumgartner gave up just one run on six hits with four strikeouts.
Joe Vannett led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Nick Salentine had two singles and scored twice. Brady Anderson scored two runs.
Champlain 5, Merchants 3
The Merchants outhit Champlain 7-3, but fell two runs short in the championship game.
Salentine (3-4) and Erstad (2-4, 2 RBI) led the Merchants, who scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh. Purdy singled and stole a base. Scott Stephenson had the other hit.
Greg Lunski allowed four runs in six innings and was saddled with the loss.
Merchants Sweep Bismarck Brewers
Merchants sweep Bismarck Brewers
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants picked up their first two wins of the season last weekend.
In the opener, Scott Stephenson went 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored. Joe Vannett went 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored.
Dan Ross and Brady Anderson added two hits each for the Merchants, who scored five runs in the bottom of first, seven in third and five in the fourth. Bryan Erstad walked twice and scored three runs.
Veteran ace Greg Lunski got the win, going all five innings with six strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Merchants struck for five runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 6-1 win.
Anderson led the way, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Dan Ross singled, walked twice, stole a base and scored.
Derek Zitzow allowed just one run on four hits with three strikeouts to get the win on the mound for the Merchants, who play the Fargo Expos on Wednesday before a tournament in Fargo/Moorhead on the weekend.
2013 ND AAA State Champions