Royals baseball heads to Arizona

Courtesy LRSC
Lake Region State College Baseball Program started their season with a trip down to Tucson, Arizona.

Courtesy LRSC Lake Region State College Baseball Program started their season with a trip down to Tucson, Arizona.

Training was held at Tucson Invitational Games, one of the best facilities in the country to play baseball at. The Royals started with a practice day, and working for the first time outside was something amazing to watch. “The joy was incredible on the boys’ faces to be outside, to see grass and dirt,” said head coach Kyal Williams. “But most of all a baseball field is an emotional sight for a coach.” Lucky for the Royals there was a chance to go watch University of Arizona versus North Dakota State University baseball game. It was an experience for the boys to see the quality of baseball that is expected at the next level.

Game Day 1: The Royals started the week with a double header versus Minnesota State Community & Technical College. It was to be expected that the Royals were a little rusty, with balls not coming off a gym floor but grass and dirt. But with a tough fielding day, the Royals pitching and hitting were exceptional. Landyn Swenson, Brett Boudreau and Alex Jinda all recorded multiple hit games, with the team recording 14 hits. A sophomore heavy bullpen Bryce Hunt, Ryan Alain and Tyler Renken showed their experience never giving up and throwing strikes gave the Royals a chance to come from behind and hold a lead, to secure the first win of the season finishing 10-8. In the second game the Royals offense came alive scoring 13 runs and giving the Royals a sweep on the first day. Landyn Swenson, Jacob Parsons, Collin Becerra and Adrian Rodriguez all recorded multiple hits, and helped to post 14 hits as a team. Michael Fitzpatrick and Justin Young shut the door, commanding the strike zone from the start and not letting Minnesota State get any momentum and finishing 13-3. "It was amazing to see the boys all up and ready to go today, you never know what to expect the first game, but I am over the moon in how we competed and come through with hitting and pitching." Coach Williams said after the games.

Game Day 2: With the sweep the day before the Royals were looking for another couple of wins. Central Lakes College came ready to play and brought it to the Royals for two games. The Royals had a tough day in the field recording five errors and only five hits to lose the first game 4-2. Jayden Komrosky, fought extremely hard on the mound to keep the Royals in the hunt the whole game, but the Royals could not come up with a timely hit and left runners on second and third three times without recording a run. Alex Jinda, Brody Stark, Brett Boudreau and Ezra Johnson all recorded hits. Coming off a tough lose the Royals bounced back in another tense and hard fought game. It took all seven innings to get the win, 4-3 with a walk off win! A pitching duel between Central Lakes and Lake Region State College was something to watch. Blake Patterson showed his maturity as a freshman in such a tough game working through some tough situations and shutting the door on Central Lakes. Ryan Alain, out of the bullpen put the game away giving every chance for the Royals to take the win. Brett Boudreau, Brody Stark, Rylan D'Etcheverrey and Adrian Rodriguez coming through with hits. Adrian Rodriguez coming up clutch in the bottom of the seventh with a single to score the winning run. "Winning in a walk off fashion is a feeling that you really can't describe, but for the boys to fight for not just this win but both games gives us so much promise for the future." Coach Williams stated.

Game Day 3: This is the toughest day on the schedule, our fifth and sixth game in three days, and is always one that can make or break you. Coming off such a high the night before the Royals had another experience with a late innings heroics. Alex Jinda gave the Royals its second walk-off win within two games with the score 4-3. Anoka-Ramsey Community College, never backed down and made it extremely hard for the Royal to gain momentum at any point during the game. Kevin Krumm on the mound showed his grit for five innings, and Tyler Renken shut the door over two innings of work. The Royals picking up nine hits on the day, with Landyn Swenson, Brody Stark, Brett Boudreau and Alex Jinda all recording multiple hits. Game 6 against Itasca Community College, showed we were drained and a little exhausted losing 21-4. The Royals picked up eight hits on the game with Brett Boudreau and Alex Jinda picking up another multiple hit game. Justin Young and Nick Hoyt had a tough day on the mound and worked extremely hard, with amazing effort in the face of a tough team.

Game Day 4: Royals sitting at 4-2 on the trip, needed another good day and the boys did not disappoint. Playing one of the best teams on our schedule Cochise College, a Division I out of Arizona, the Royals come ready to play. Bryce Hunt on the mound showed exactly what he can do. The Royals offense always seemed like they were right there, just couldn't get a big hit at the right time to break open the game. Alex Jinda swung a hot bat, with Brody Stark, Nick Hoyt, Jacob Parsons and Kevin Krumm contributing in the hit column. A tough loss is always hard to come back and compete, but the Royals bats exploded to give Anoka-Ramsey a 13-0 loss. Landyn Swenson, Ezra Johnson and Adrian Rodriguez all recorded multiple hits, as Brett Boudreau went 4-4 on the day. Michael Fitzpatrick threw a complete game shutout, with an impressive combination of location and power. "From the first pitch you could tell Michael felt confident and strong. Giving no chance for Anoka to counter." Coach Williams said after the game. It was a full team effort and a great feeling to get to 5-3 on the week.

Game Day 5: The last day saw the Royals take on Riverland Community College in a double header, the same place Head Coach Williams started his college career at. With Jayden Komrosky on the mound the Royals always knew that had a chance, and Jayden did not disappoint. He pitched eight innings of complete baseball and only gave up three hits and two runs. Jayden's command was something to admire as he worked quickly and effortlessly to make life hard for the Riverland hitters. Going into the bottom of the seventh the Royals were two runs down and needing two to keep the game alive. The hitters came out of their shells and scored two with great team batting to push us into extras and finally with another heroic hit to give the Royals its third walk-off on the week. Brett Boudreau and Landyn Swenson both getting multiple hit, with Landyn securing the win with a single to left in the bottom of the eighth. Riverland come out and put their foot to the floor giving the Royals an 11-1 loss for the last game of the trip. Brett Boudreau and Landyn Swenson picking up the three hits in the game.

Spring Training is an amazing time for our guys to get outside and experience some good baseball heading in to Conference season. “I am extremely proud of what the boys produced during the week,” said Williams, “and know some areas that we need to keep working on to get us to the next level. But our pitching and hitting were very much above expectation especially coming from inside facilities to outdoors it is always a really hard transition. The support of the families and friends that travelled down to Tucson was something that really gave us an edge during the week. The cheering and support was such an amazing feeling and I know it helped the boys come through some tough spots during the games. I wanted to thank everyone personally for coming down and making it one of the best trips as a coach!”