MISSOULA — The Billings Royals started their State AA legion baseball title defense off by winning three of four from the Missoula Mavericks in their season-opening series after sweeping a doubleheader Sunday.
Tucker Smith threw a complete game, and Connor Hunter went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored at the plate as the Royals won the first game 6-3. Smith allowed only three hits and one walk in seven innings of work, needing just 83 pitches.
The Royals led 2-1 going into the seventh inning where they scored four runs in the top half, and Missoula added two in the bottom half.
The Mavs then took a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning of Game 2, but the Royals scored five runs over the final two to earn the sweep with a 10-6 win.
Nick Eliason had two triples and a double, scored four runs, and drove in three more in a dominant effort. Eliason also pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Jaeden Jordahl was 2-for-4 with four RBI, while Michael Moreland was 3-4 with two runs scored.
The Royals open their home schedule next weekend with games against the Mavs and Rapid City Post 22.