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Senior-driven Billings Royals surpassing own expectations with scorching start

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 21:15:02-04

BILLINGS – The best season in Major League Baseball history belongs to the 1906 Chicago Cubs, who finished 116-36. That’s a winning percentage of .763, and it’s never been bested in 112 years. It’s also 112 points below the Billings Royals right now.

“With all those seniors, we had kind of a thought coming into the year that it would be pretty good,” said outfielder Michael Morehead.

“I told all the seniors at the beginning of this year, ‘We got 10 seniors on this team. I should be able to roll the ball out there and you guys should be playing baseball,'” added manager Bryan Benjamin.

That’s exactly what the Royals have done. The Royals are 22-3, winning 17 in a row at one point, but baseball being the superstitious sport that it is, Benjamin shies away from the talk.

“I really don’t want them to talk to me about it,” the manager laughed. “We have a lot of games left, and things can go downhill pretty quick in baseball, so I just want to keep on the positive and keep working on what we’ve been doing.”

“We’ve actually never looked at it,” Morehead said of the team’s record. “The only time we’ve ever really celebrated is the Scarlet games. Other than that, it’s just us playing baseball.”

It starts on the mound with a three-headed attack featuring Brooks Zimmer, Tyler Frieders, and Cade Torgerson.

“Pitching has been brutal out there,” said shortstop Connor Polkowske. “I mean, they’re kicking some butt out there. It’s been great.”

“I’ve only had to make a couple plays out there,” added Morehead. “They’ve done a very good job of keeping it on the ground – a lot of strikeouts, no walks.”

It’s a recipe for success, but one they’re always tinkering with.

“Just having little things to work on – I mean, what we do at practice is great,” Polkowske said. “Not having to worry about the major stuff is perfect.”

Benjamin agreed there aren’t very many things his team isn’t doing well.

“Maybe our little things like bunting, missed a few cut-off guys in the outfield, gave some of these teams extra bases, but overall pretty happy,” Benjamin said.

They’re giving him plenty of reason to be.