MISSOULA – In a high-scoring slugfest, the Billings Royals held off Waipahu, Hawaii, Wednesday night to win their Northwest Regional Tournament opener in Missoula, 11-8.
However, what looked like a comfortable 11-3 late-game lead for the Royals vanished when Waipahu blew up for five runs in the sixth inning to draw within 11-8. Brooks Zimmer worked the final inning in relief to slam the door for Billings, which now plays Yakima, Wash. in a 4 p.m. winner’s-bracket game on Thursday. Yakima beat Medford, Ore., 4-3, on Wednesday
Billings opened the scoring by sending six batters to the plate before an out was even recorded in the top of the first inning. The Royals left the bases loaded but led 2-0.
Waipahu countered with three in the bottom of the first, but gave the lead back to start the second when Billings answered with two more. The Royals added runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames to balloon their lead to 11-3 before Hawaii built it’s sixth-inning rally. The teams combined for 29 hits.
Jarret Leinwand and Sam Evenson homered for the Royals, while Jayden Kay went 3-5 at the plate. Dawson Smith was 1-4 with three RBIs.
Akila Arecchi led Waipahu at the plate with a 3-5 performance. He also scored twice.
Tyler Frieders earned the win striking out three while allowing seven hits and three earned runs in five innings of work.
American Legion Baseball Northwest Regional Tournament
Aug. 8-12 at Allegiance Field, Missoula
Wednesday, first round
Game 1: Yakima (Wash.) 4, Medford (Ore.) 3
Game 2: Meridian (Idaho) 8, Juneau (Alaska) 7
Game 3: Billings Royals 11, Waipahu (Hawaii) 8
Game 4: Cheyenne (Wyo.) 5, Missoula Mavericks 3
Game 5: Medford (Ore.) vs. Waipahu (Hawaii), loser-out, 9:30 a.m.
Game 6: Juneau (Alaska) vs. Missoula Mavericks, loser-out, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7: Yakima (Wash.) vs. Billings Royals, second round, 4 p.m.
Game 8: Meridian (Idaho) vs. Cheyenne (Wyo.), second round, 7 p.m.
Game 9: Game 7 loser vs. Game 6 winner, loser-out, 1 p.m.
Game 10: Game 8 loser vs. Game 5 winner, loser-out, 4 p.m.
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, quarterfinal, 7 p.m.
Game 12: Game 11 loser vs. Game 9 winner, loser-out, 4 p.m.
Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 10 winner, semifinal, 7 p.m.
Notes: Pairings for Games 12 and 13 will not match previous opponents against each other unless absolutely necessary. If three one-loss teams remain after Game 13, the winner of Game 11 automatically draw the bye for Game 14.
Game 14: Game 13 winner vs. Game 12 winner, championship, 1 p.m.
Gamd 15: Second championship, if necessary, 4 p.m.