Jamestown, Lafayette baseball teams finding stride

Jamestown completed a regular-season baseball sweep of Lafayette Friday with a 5-3 win, although it's hard to tell which team is playing better baseball right now.

Lafayette followed the loss with a 5-4 win Saturday over Grassfield of Chesapeake and a 7-0 victory Monday against Smithfield before competition commenced on Tuesday against York.

Jamestown (11-2) certainly has been the more consistent of the two local teams behind senior pitcher Ryan Devine, who tossed a complete game in the win against the Rams to give the Eagles their 10th straight win.

But Lafayette coach Rick Schenk is still mixing and matching his lineup and rotation to find the right postseason formula.

Lafayette starting pitcher John Keane, a standout catcher, allowed three earned runs Friday before Jared Antle came on in relief for the Rams (7-6).

Jamestown finished with six hits and benefited from a momentum-shifting sixth inning pickoff with two runners on base by Devine to E.A. Woolwine at second.

Devine and Woolwine each also finished with a hit and an RBI at the plate.

"We're doing some little things," Jamestown coach John Cole said. "We're really starting to play good defense. You saw the pickoff tonight… We run the bases well. We can play some small ball. And we're throwing strikes. We don't walk a lot of guys. You're going to have to bang it to beat us."

"We just have a great team," Jamestown catcher Kevin Mooney said. "We all talked about what we needed to do after the first two losses and we really came together as a team. We've been working hard the whole time."

Lafayette has been getting production up and down its batting order as of late, led by Keane, who is hitting .386 with 13 RBIs. Chase Bauer, who has a 2.54 earned run average on the mound, is hitting .368 and Nate Coley has knocked 11 singles in 24 at-bats.

While Jamestown has relied heavily on Devine, the innings have been spread around as usual for Schenk's Rams. Bauer and Chase Smith have thrown the most with Geo Rivera next. Rivera, a sophomore Old Dominion commitment, has 17 strikeouts in 16 innings with a 2.62 ERA.

The second loss of the season to rival Jamestown didn't do a lot to damage Schenk's confidence in his team. "Jamestown is a good ball club," he said. "They're not going to make mistakes. We can't either."

Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.

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