BILLINGS – Even after eight frustrating innings, the Billings Royals again found a way to win Saturday night to keep their incredible streak going.
Brooks Zimmer scored on an error with one out in the bottom of the ninth as the Royals won their 14th straight game, 3-2, over a scrappy Butte Miners squad at Dehler Park. Zimmer singled in his first at-bat of the game, after replacing Jarret Leinwand in the 8th inning as Leinwand was ejected for arguing an out call in the 7th. The Royals then loaded the bases, and Zimmer scored on a Connor Hunter groundball.
Connor Polkowske reached base all five times he came to the plate, with a single, double, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch. He also scored the Royals first two runs of the game.
Butte led twice in the game. The Miners scored in the top of the 1st to go up 1-0, and again in the top of the 7th when Kash Kelly drew a bases-loaded walk to put them up 2-1. Leinwand’s RBI single in the bottom of the 7th tied the score once again, paving the way for Zimmer’s heroics.
Tyler Frieders pitched seven innings for Billings, giving up just one earned run and striking out six. Tucker Smith pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th to get the win. Ryan Wahl threw 6.2 innings for Butte, striking out five.
The Royals are now 17-1 on the season. The two teams play a double-header Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Dehler.