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Big inning, Jaiden Turner's arm lift Billings Royals to win at Northwest Regional

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Billings Royals scored all of their runs in the second inning, then rode the pitching of starter Jaiden Turner to a 5-1 victory over the host Gillette Riders in the first round of the Northwest Regional Legion tournament on Wednesday.

Turner, a right-hander, allowed three hits while striking out nine and walking one through 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. He was allowed one unearned run.

"J.T. did a great job," said Royals coach David Swecker, whose team won the Class AA Montana-Alberta state title on Sunday. "He threw all three pitches for strikes and had them off balance all night. He did a great job competing for us."

The Royals scored five times in the second. Lance Schaaf drew a bases-loaded walk to score Jessen West, and then Schaaf, Bryce LaForest and Kruz Slevira all scored on a Gillette throwing error following a single by Davis Chakos.

Chakos later came in on another error as the Royals grabbed a 5-0 lead.

"It was the first game of regionals and both teams were a little tight," Swecker said. "We were able to take advantage of a couple errors and have a big inning."

Gillette scored in the bottom of the fourth inning as Jason Fink delivered an RBI single through the right side of the infield. The run was unearned.

Royals closer Hunter Eliason pitched the final 1 2/3 innings. He gave up one hit and had one strikeout.

The Royals advanced to face Medford, Oregon, on Thursday at 7 p.m. 


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