LEGION BASEBALL: Grand Forks Royals survive with sweep against Mandan
The Grand Forks Royals survived a nail-biter in its first game against Mandan on Tuesday night at Kraft Field, riding the pitching of Ty Straus to a 2-1 win over the Chiefs.
Between games, Royals coach Nick Chine said it would be nice to have a little more offense from his team.
“We definitely need our offense to kick it up a notch,” said Chine. “The lifeblood of any baseball team is offense. That energizes players.
“Your pitchers are throwing well and that’s great but you’re still sitting on the edge of your seat.”
The Royals received more offense in the second game, yet it was still another nail-biter. Grand Forks came through with a four-run sixth to rally past Mandan 9-7 for the sweep. After collecting only four hits in the opener, the Royals managed 10 in the second game.
Brady Regimbal and Logan Montgomery each had three hits to lead the Royals.
Grand Forks improved to 9-1 in league play and has been playing sound baseball the past week. The Royals swept Wahpeton on Monday night and went 2-2 in a tournament in Omaha last weekend in conjunction with the NCAA College World Series.
The only downside for the Royals against Mandan was the loss of catcher Kaleb Binstock, who injured his left knee in a collision at home in the fourth inning of the nightcap.
Binstock picked up the save in the opener.
In the opener, the Royals scored one run in the third and plated the game-winner in the fifth when Cole Kirchoffner’s double scored Kaden Monette, who had singled.
Strauss was in control throughout, allowing four Mandan hits.
“My two-seam fastball was working down and away,” said Straus.
The right-hander improved to 3-1. He also has a perfect game to his credit during the Legion season. During his high school season, a shoulder injury limited Straus to only two innings on the mound.
“Ty has lived up to, probably exceeded, our expectations,” said Chine. “He’s thrown really well. He throws a lot of strikes and changes speed. If guys get on base, they have to earn it.”
The Royals will play at East Grand Forks on Thursday. The teams will play once, with the first pitch set for 5 p.m.