By: Jared Hines
In the heart of the Mississippi 8 conference schedule, members of the Rogers baseball team have fought hard to make sure the Royals maintained their position as one of the conference’s top teams.
The week ended well for the Royals, winning two of their three games and moving to 9-4 overall on the season. Rogers has now won seven of its last eight after dropping three games early in the season.
On May 3, Rogers welcomed Chisago Lakes to its home field, only to wave them goodbye after a 10-0 victory. The next day brought more challenges for Rogers, as the Bison from Buffalo handed Rogers its first loss since April 19. The game went nine innings before an RBI single gave the Bison a win.
The Royals wouldn’t be able to think about the loss for long as the team prepared for its third game in three days against the Hornets of Big Lake.
Sam Ripley started the scoring in the eventual 3-2 for the Royals with an RBI in the top of the first inning. The Hornets tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Rogers won the first meeting between the two teams 5-2 on April 25.
After another run by each team, the Royals headed to another extra-inning game, their second in as many days. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the bases loaded, a Ryan Davidson loss looked inevitable until teammate Kaleb Anderson made a diving catch to send the game to the ninth inning. The dugout exploded with cheers as the team made its way off the field and tried to get its offense going.
Jordan Fischer started the top of the ninth with a single down the left-field line. Anderson bunted pinch-runner Jack Kammers over to second, and Drew Sagehorn advanced him to third. Davidson then laid down a bunt single to score Kammers and put Rogers ahead 3-2.
Big Lake’s offense tried for one more comeback, but after a fly out to Mitch Spilles and a single, the Hornets’ last chance grounded into a Fischer-Jake Moss-Brennan Unruh double play to end the game in nine innings.
Rogers (9-4) heads to STMA on May 10 in a rematch of the season opener, a 3-2 victory by the Royals. STMA is currently 11-3 after a pair of losses in its last two games to Monticello and Brainerd. Both teams are 3-2 in the Mississippi 8 Blue division standings.