The Lake Region State College baseball team wrapped up its season Friday in Williston.
The Lake Region State College baseball team wrapped up its season Friday in Williston. It was a year to set the foundation as the Royals fielded a squad for the first time in the more than 20 years.
"Wins and losses we obviously ended up where we wanted to be," Joe Kittell, Lake Region State College baseball coach, commented to the Journal. "We definitely improved as the year went on and saw some very positive development."
The team won its first game of the season two weeks ago in Bottineau. After falling 3-2 in extras during the opener of the doubleheader, the Royals bounced back in winning fashion. Lake Region State College topped the Lumberjacks 5-3 in the second game. The game was indicative of how well the Royals played during final half of the season.
"I definitely felt like we played our best baseball late in the season," the coach noted.
"We were very competitive in those final games."
At the Region XIII tourney, the Royals fell 17-9 in the first game to Dakota College of Bottineau. Lake Region State College played extremely well early on taking a 6-0 lead after three innings. The Lumberjacks, however, exploded offensively late in the game.
"We played excellent early on, but just couldn't hold on," Kittell stated.
The Royals then faced Bismarck State College in loser-out play. Despite playing well in all facets of the game, Lake Region State College fell to its Bismarck foe 7-2.
"Defensively, I thought we played one of our better games," he stated. "Offensively, we put the ball in play, but just weren't able to get the base runners on we needed to."
With the loss, the team's season came to an end. The coaching staff noted improvement and is looking forward next year's campaign.
"It's a process," Kittell stated. "We just need to pick up where we left off and go forward from there."
The good news is that a majority of the Royals' return for next year. Three of the four top hitters are set to come back to the squad for the 2014-2015 season. The returners will join a group of new recruits.
"There is an excellent core coming back next year in addition to an exciting recruiting class," the coach said. "I feel that if we keep improving everyday, that we can make huge strides as a program next season."