Jones tosses perfect game to help Roughriders sweep Trappers
From the eye-test, Lucas Jones was brilliant. In baseball terms, he was perfect.
The Dickinson Roughriders pitcher twirled a perfect game on Friday evening, sitting down 15 Fargo Post 400 batters in a row in a run-rule shortened 11-0 victory at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.
"About the second or third inning I was feeling pretty good," Jones said. "I guess I knew I hadn't given up a hit yet and I was trying hard not to. I was feeling good all night."
Jones' gem completed the sweep for the Roughriders (7-3, 5-3 league), as Cam Jorda had a strong outing from the mound, as well. If not for a four-pack of singles that brought home two runs in the top of the seventh, Jorda would have had a complete game shutout, but he instead settled for a 7-2 victory.
"Both Cam and Lucas were senior leaders today," Roughriders head coach Stephen Greenwood said. "They did exactly what the coaching staff asked them to do, and that was to be in control and make our defense work, and they did exactly that."
Jones got to a three-ball count six times in his game but delivered a pitch each time that got him an out. He threw 75 pitches, 50 for strikes, and finished with seven strikeouts.
"I was talking to him and I told him to go into the starter mentality and not the closer mentality, and that's not easy to do," Greenwood said. "He trusted that and was in full control today. He was confident with every pitch."
Jones said it was the best pitching performance of his life, but mostly he was trying to help the team to a sweep after being swept itself Thursday evening by West Fargo.
"Yesterday we didn't play as well as we could have or should have, and against West Fargo you can't do that," he said. "We wanted to come back, and we knew we had to get these two to stay up in the conference where we want to be."
Jones helped his own cause, driving in Tanner Ouellette for the game's first run. Dickinson added three more runs in the third inning thanks to a Jorda single, a Sam England sacrifice fly and a Jones groundout.
The Roughriders broke it open in the fifth inning, though, as Cody Maier led off with a single and Tristen Brunk tripled to center for a 5-0 lead. Colton Jones grounded out to score Brunk, Jorda doubled home two runs, Eli Jung grounded out to score Jorda, England scored on a wild pitch and Brunk singled to score Jones.
"They had great at-bats today, the whole lineup did," Greenwood said.
That success at the plate arguably stemmed from the first first game, when Dickinson did all its damage in the middle innings.
While Jorda held the Trappers off the base paths, his counterpart Braeton Motschenbacher was equally as tough until Jung tripled to right-center field to score Jones with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Kendall Jones then followed with an RBI groundout to score Jung for a 2-0 lead.
Ethan Dietz led of the Roughriders' fifth inning with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Jorda single for a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth, Lucas Jones scored on a wild pitch and Brunk supplied an RBI single to plate Jung. Jorda added another RBI single three batters later, and England walked to force in Dickinson's final run.
"It helps tremendously when you have the bottom of the order setting up for the top of the order," Jorda said. "That allows you to put the nail in the coffin."
Jorda finished with three hits in the first game, driving in two runs in the process. From the mound, he tallied two strikeouts and allowed two walks.
"You know you're doing good when all of your pitches are working for you," he said. "And when they do pick something up, it goes right to one of your players. That's when you know you're doing something good."
In the seventh inning, Fargo's Austin Warren, Zach Staller and Noah Hankel all singled to load the bases with one out. A groundout from Matt Hagen spoiled the shutout, and an infield single from Devin Bush brought in the final run.
"I've seen Cam enough to know, usually from the first pitch, if it's going to be a good day," Greenwood said. "I knew with his body language and his rhythm that he was locked-in and it was going to be a good day."
Dickinson 7, Fargo 2
F 000 000 2 — 2 8 0
D 000 214 X — 7 12 1
F: Braeton Motschenbacher (5.2), Camden Barta (0.1) and Kain Carlson. D: Cam Jorda (7.0) and Tristen Brunk.
W—Jorda. L—Motschenbacher. HR—None.
Highlights: F, Devin Bush 2-4, 1 RBI; Matt Hagen 1-3, 1 RBI; John Kennedy 1-3, 2B; Zach Staller 1-3, 1 R; Will Hendricks 1-1, 1 R; Braeton Motschenbacher 5.2 IP, 12 H, 7 R (7 ER), 3 K, 1 BB. D, Lucas Jones 3-4, 2 R; Eli Jung 1-2, 3B, 2 R, 1 RBI; Sam England 2-3, 1 RBI; Kendall Jones 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI; Tristen Brunk 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI; Ethan Dietz 1-3, 1 R; Cam Jorda 3-4, 2 RBI, 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 K, 2 BB.
Dickinson 11, Fargo 0
F 000 00 — 0 0 0
D 103 7X — 11 10 0
F: Noah Hankel (3.1), Matt Hagen (0.2) and Kain Carlson. D: Lucas Jones (5.0) and Sam England.
W—Jones. L—Hankel. HR—None.
Highlights: D, Cam Jorda 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI; Tanner Ouellette 2-2, 2B, 3 R; Michael McChesney 1-1, 2 R; Sam England 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI; Tristen Brunk 2-3, 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI; Cody Maier 1-2, 1 R; Eli Jung 1 RBI; Lucas Jones 1-2, 1 R, 2 RBI; 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 7 K, 0 BB.