Legion baseball: Royals, Scarlets set for state tourney showdown

Laurel pounds Medicine Hat 14-2 in Class A
2014-07-29T22:30:00Z 2014-07-30T17:30:15Z Legion baseball: Royals, Scarlets set for state tourney showdownGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
July 29, 2014 10:30 pm  • 

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta -- The Royals and Scarlets will rekindle their rivalry Wednesday at the State AA Legion baseball tournament.

Both teams won first-round games Tuesday at Spitz Stadium. The Scarlets opened the tournament with a 16-7 victory over Bozeman, and the Royals shut down Helena for a 7-1 win.

The Royals and Scarlets will tangle at 4 p.m. for the right to advance to the undefeated semifinal round. The Scarlets won five of the six regular-season meetings between the teams.

Konner Wiechman threw eight strong innings to propel the Royals (45-14). Wiechman gave up nine hits and one run while striking out five. He threw 100 pitches, 66 for strikes.

Offensively, Baylee Slevira had four hits, including a two-run triple in the third as the Royals opened up a five-run lead. The red-hot Tanner Leenknecht went 3 for 5 with a double and a triple, and Joe Zimmer had two hits and two RBIs.

Tristan Shea hit a home run for Helena. It was the fifth time the Royals beat the Senators this season. With the loss, Helena fell into a loser-out game against Bozeman.

The Scarlets exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning  to run away from Bozeman. Jayson Leinwand went 4 for 4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs to ignite the offense.

Jalen Garcia also had four hits, while Cole Jones hit two triples and drove in two runs. Shelby Zorn finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs. The Scarlets (36-19-1) amassed 21 hits.

Scarlets starter Michael Merchant pitched around contact to earn the victory. Merchant scattered nine hits and was charged with three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Joel Thayer had three hits and a pair of RBIs in the leadoff spot for Bozeman. Bucks starter Jake Ekstrom was saddled with the loss, allowing four earned runs in four innings.

In other games, Medicine Hat upset Missoula 17-12, and Lethbridge scored two late runs to knock off Great Falls 7-6.

Dodgers roll at State A

Jake Anderson and Dawson Cortese each drove in four runs as Laurel took down Medicine Hat 14-2 on Tuesday at the State A tournament in Lewistown.

Anderson and Cortese each hit doubles for the defending state champions, who scored five runs in the first and five more in the fifth to pull away.

Kameron Fisher went 5 for 5 and scored four times for the Dodgers, and also earned the victory on the mound. Fisher struck out seven in seven innings, working around seven hits. Fisher improved his record to 9-0.

Medicine Hat committed eight defensive errors.

Laurel (46-15) advanced to Wednesday’s second round where they'll face Mission Valley at 4 p.m.

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