The Armena Royals got a solid start from long-time hurler Joel Boettger to keep them in the ball game before finally going ahead, down to their final out in the top of the seventh to score three in the frame and nail down their seventh win of the season.
Dean Prpick put the Royals ahead in the third inning with his first blast of the season – with two outs. Bardo A’s all-star third baseman Ken Braget continued his tear with a responding solo shot deep over the left field fence to tie the game after four.
Bardo veteran Chris Mittlestadt worked out of trouble multiple times and struck out six on the night. Boettger struck out seven as the two long-time foes went toe-to-toe on a scorching evening in Bardo.
The A’s moved across the tying run in the sixth as Ryan Olson led off with a masterful bunt and stole second. Braget continued his power dominance with a rocket off the left field fence, just a few inches from another home run on a ball that looked like might be tracked by the left field Dean Prpick so Olson held momentarily to avoid being doubled off.
Prpick would relay the ball in and Adam Johnson would toss a strike home the for the 9-6-3 put out at home for the first out of the inning. But Bardo would move Braget over on a fielder’s choice and Mittlestadt would notch an infield hit to make it 3-2 Bardo after six.
Struggling, but now somewhat surging, David Ritz led off the inning with a single and then reached second on a fielding error. But he was caught in a fielder’s choice rundown on the next play. A Cole Tomaszewski rope to left field set the stage for Prpick to do damage again, but Mittlestadt struck him out. Designated hitter Dave Andreassen stepped up and drilled a double to right centre field and Jason Buzzell flared in a hit to drive home an insurance run before Boettger worked 1-2-3 in the bottom half for the win.
It was the fourth straight time the Royals had won in Bardo since 2011 after a lengthy draught post-2007. The win moves them closer to what they hope will be a playoff spot. Next on tap is the Ryley Rebels who walloped the Royals back in May 17-8. Game time is 7 p.m.