BILLINGS -- The Billings Royals announced the resignation of one head coach on Tuesday afternoon and the hiring of another.
Jeff Ballard, president and chairman of Billings American Legion Baseball (BALB), told MTN Sports that Bryan Benjamin has accepted a job promotion at Briggs Distributing that won't allow him enough time to also lead the Royals. Ballard said the American Legion board approved the hiring of assistant David Swecker, who had worked under Benjamin for the past four seasons as head coach of the Class A Billings Blue Jays.
Swecker played for the Laurel Dodgers and was a member of the State A title teams in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He went on to play college baseball at MSU Billings. Benjamin was hired to coach the Royals in 2015 after leading the Blue Jays for two seasons. He played for the Royals in 1989-90.
The Royals placed second at this year's State AA tournament in Billings and won the championship a year ago in 2018.
Ballard said Benjamin will be available this fall as the BALB programs (Royals, Blue Jays, Scarlets, Cardinals, Class B Post 4) shift tryouts to September for the first time. He said the change, based on better weather and allowing players who don't make the Legion teams time to choose other options, has been in the works for a few years.
Ballard also announced the unveiling of a new turf infield at Pirtz Field on Aug. 29 from 5-7 p.m. Construction started earlier this month. The turf addition is part of a four-phase capital improvement plan that includes new aluminum and steel bench seating for fans, a new booth for announcers and scorers, improved concessions and maintenance storage areas, and overhead rain and sun protective covering for bleacher sections.