BILLINGS — The undefeated run is over.
The Billings Royals fell to the Laurel Dodgers 6-5 in nine innings on Saturday night at the Goldsmith Gallery legion baseball tournament. The loss ends the Royals’ undefeated streak dating back to last year, when the Billings club won the tournament with a 6-0 record.
Tied at 5-all in the top of the ninth inning, Colton Ludwig dropped a squeeze bunt that scored Connor Polkowske from third, giving the Dodgers a 6-5 advantage. Polkowske led the inning with a single and advanced around the bases after a sacrifice Keagan Thompson and a bunt from Cash Golden.
Polkowske scored two runs in the win.
The Royals put the tying run in play in the bottom of the inning, as Brenden Concepcion drew a walk, but with two outs already recorded, Ludwig struck out Cole Miller to end the game.
Laurel opened a 3-0 lead in the second inning, then extended it to 5-0 in the fourth, but the Royals scored five consecutive runs over the next four innings, led by two RBIs from Brendan Miller. In the end, it was Laurel’s small-ball heroics advancing them to Sunday’s semifinals.
Saturday’s other late contest saw the Billings Scarlets fall to the Williston Keybirds Post 37 by a score of 6-5. Williston recorded nine strikeouts, eight from Brady Aberle, in the win. Aberle added two hits, an RBI and two runs scored for Post 37.
The Goldsmith Gallery Tournament concludes on Sunday in the Magic City.