CONNELL — Royal looked primed to make a deep successful playoff run having won five of its last seven games to close out the regular season. But the Knights hit a major chuckhole on the district roadway dropping two of three games in postseason play and were sent home wondering what might have been.
Naches Valley 15
Four singles and a walk with two outs in the top of the third had Royal up 4-0 in first round action against Naches. The Rangers got a run back in the home half of the frame to close the gap to 4-1. The Knights brought a runner across the dish run in fourth and seemed to have control of the game. But things turned on a dime in the in the bottom of the inning when Naches scored nine runs off five base on balls and three singles given up by starter Sawyer Jenks and reliever Kevin Reyes.
The Rangers tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the fifth and the game was called on the 10-run mercy rule. The loss dropped Royal into the consolation bracket for a loser out game with Goldendale, which lost its opener to Connell 7-3.
Two Timberwolves errors, two sac bunts and three singles produced four runs for the Knights in the top of the third inning. An RBI single and two Corbin Christensen wild pitches led to two Goldendale runs in the bottom of the fourth and allowed the Timberwolves to get back in the game. Neither team hung a run on the board until both scored one each in the eighth inning. The 5-3 victory kept Royal’s hopes alive as they faced another loser out game in Round 3 of the tournament.
The game with Kiona Benton May 12 was do-or-die contest for both teams. Royal got on the board first with a single run in the top of the second inning. The score held up until the Bears brought a runner across the dish in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings. The Knights failed to score in the top of the frame and then got two quick outs on Ki-Be with a runner at first in the bottom of the inning. A seeing-eye single followed by an intentional walk loaded the bags for the Bears. A force out at any base would end the Ki-Be threat, but Joe Mendoza came through with a clutch walk-off single that put the nail in the coffin and ended the season for Royal.