Royals baffled to the brink
Posted July 3, 2009
The Armena Royals offensive struggles continued Thursday night as they only managed five hits and just two runs in a 4-2 loss that sets up a do-or-die Tuesday night home tilt versus the Bardo Athletics.
Armena rebounded after going down 1-0 after one. Cody Sroka singled and Adam Johnson walked before the young Mark Walker struck a 2-RBI single to give the Royals a 2-1 lead after two. Walker would later slam a double in the seventh to go 2-for-4 on the night.
Veteran Armena righthander Jason Buzzell worked the corners and got some defensive help to keep the lead until the fifth inning when the Roadrunners struck paydirt all with two outs.
Matt Mayer singled and Hans Haugen walked to give Luke Haugen a rip down the third base line to score two. Walker almost gunned down Haugen at the plate, but it popped out of catcher Adam Johnson’s glove before the tag could be made. Camrosespotted one more in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead into the last frame.
Down to their final three outs, Lee Palmer smacked a single to get what seemed to be a rally started. He was caught trying to steal second though, and Walker’s double was all for nothing as Kyle Ellis and Jason Buzzell grounded out to end the game.
Hans Haugen, who pitched a similar 4-2 win over Armena just a week earlier, battled through some control issues early (four walks) and stuck it to his old hamlet.
He also was the center of an interesting exchange where the 11-mile rivalry took on its most bitter of blood since 1999. It ended with umpire Doug Bowie telling the teams to be quiet and play ball.
All the sophmoric chatter aside, the loss puts the Royals on the brink. Another loss Tuesday eliminates the youngsters who have battled hard but come up short on too many occasions.
“I pitched OK, but made some big mistakes that cost us a couple runs,” Buzzell said. “It could have been a 2-1 win, but it’s too late to paint a pretty picture now, eh?”
Camrose has two more games that will help decide home-field and the regular season title next week.
“I don’t know how we’re doing it,” said Roadrunner Steve Ofrim after the game, who went 0-for-4 on the night. “Somehow the bottom guys find way to get hits and we’re winning games.”
posted on July 3, 2009 by Jason Buzzell