Until a week and a half ago, there was still two feet of snow on the ground. Baseball was played in other places on the planet. Places where the grass grew green already, and the sun, grown warm again from its winter in the south, made sitting outside enjoyable, fun. And for us up here on the northern plains a dream, a dream that it seemed the Lake Region State College Royals were chasing over half the continent. Pursuit of Elysian fields and summer.

Until a week and a half ago, there was still two feet of snow on the ground.  Baseball was played in other places on the planet.  Places where the grass grew green already, and the sun, grown warm again from its winter in the south, made sitting outside enjoyable, fun.  And for us up here on the northern plains a dream, a dream that it seemed the Lake Region State College Royals were chasing over half the continent.  Pursuit of Elysian fields and summer.

Finally the sun returned here from the south, bringing the Royals baseball team with it.  Tonight, Tuesday, they played their first home game of the season—and it was almost warm.  They took on the Williston State College Tetons in a double header.  

The Tetons came out swinging and plated three in the top of the first inning.  And Brandon Beeghly’s two-run homer accounted for put two more on the board.  By midway through the third the Tetons held a 6-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Ezra Johnson sent one deep over the left-center fence to cut the score in half, 6-3 Tetons.  But the Tetons plated three more in the top of the fourth to make it a 9-3 game.  

Nick Hoyt, in the bottom of the fourth, sent a two-run shot over the right field fence in the bottom of the frame making it 9-5.  Landyn Swenson picked up an RBI, and the Royals put one more across the plate to make it a 9-7 game

The Tetons added another in the top of the fifth on a bases loaded swinging bunt and the score was 10-7.

The Royals got runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth, but wound up stranding them on a pop fly to shallow left for the third out.

The last two innings the teams traded outs—the Royals did put on a nifty 4-6-3 double play in the top of the seventh—and the game was over after seven, with the Tetons holding on 10-7.

The first five Teton batters reached base in the second game, and the first three of them came around on a three-run homer.  Royal coach Kyal Williams made a mound visit after the fifth Teton reached, and Blake Peterson K’d the next two batters and picked up the third out on a strike-‘em-out-throw-‘em-out pick at third from catcher Brett Boudreau.

Swenson had a blast to the right-center field fence that engender some debate between the umpires and then the coaches and the umpires.  The Teton center fielder held up his hands signaling that the ball had rolled under the fence, but then bent down and picked it up.  The initial call was for a ground rule double, but Swenson rounded the bags just in case.  After the debate, the umpires determined to let the initial call stand and Swenson went back to second, going to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then coming home on an E5.  It was 3-1 Tetons after one.

The Tetons put another on the board in the second when the ball got past Boudreau.  They challenged again in the third, but left runners stranded.

The Royals got some offense in the bottom of the third.  They got three runners into scoring position and brought them home, but couldn’t bring in the third runner, leaving him stranded on third.  The Tetons were up by one, 4-3.

Until Teton Austyn Hester took one yard in the top of the fourth, and took their lead back to two runs.  The Tetons got their sixth and final run on an E2 throwing error.  A blown Teton hit and run had the runners in motion.  Boudreau tried to make the pick at third, and the ball went skittering along the foul line into the outfield.  

The Royals left four runners stranded in scoring position in the fifth and seventh.  In the sixth, the Teton pitcher picked two runners off first base.

The Tetons won 6-3.

“We were a bit rusty,” said head coach Kyal Williams.  “And we committed errors early.  We had our chances, though, and the boys did a good job of fighting back.  They came back from being down 6-0 in the first game, and had their chances in the second.  I’m proud of them for never giving up.  You know, just one pitch, just one swing of the bat, and it’s a different game.”