Royals remain near top of MRC race

Michael Herd delivers a pitch against Jordan.
Michael Herd delivers a pitch against Jordan.
Matt Elsenpeter aggressively rounds third base after moving up from second on a wild pitch.
Matt Elsenpeter aggressively rounds third base after moving up from second on a wild pitch.
Mark Sandquist drives in the Royals' first run against Jordan with a hard one-hopper to short.
Mark Sandquist drives in the Royals’ first run against Jordan with a hard one-hopper to short.

The Watertown-Mayer baseball team split four games last week, sweeping a doubleheader at Mayer Lutheran on Monday, May 6, but being swept at home in a doubleheader by conference leader Jordan on Thursday, May 9.

The wins over Mayer Lutheran boosted the Royals’ record to 6-2 at the time, but the losses to Jordan dropped them to 6-4. Watertown-Mayer, sitting in second-place, is still in the MRC race, just two games behind Jordan at 8-2. Norwood Young America was also tied with the Royals at 6-4 entering this week’s play.

The Royals had a doubleheader against NYA on Monday, May 13, and played at Maple Lake on Tuesday, May 14. The Royals will be back in action on Thursday, May 16, when they travel to Montgomery to take on Tri-City United in the final doubleheader of the MRC season. The Royals will also play a non-conference game on Tuesday, May 21, on the road at Glencoe-Silver Lake, and will wrap up the regular season on Wednesday, May 22, with a game at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted.


Royals 11, LHS 0

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and then poured it on late, taking game 1 from Mayer Lutheran with ease.

The Royals added a single run in the fourth to make it 3-0 and two more in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Watertown-Mayer broke things wide open with a six-run sixth inning.

Nick Tschida led off that sixth inning with a single, and the royals tacked on hits from Matt Elsenpeter and Brendan Weege and a triple from Brett Johnson. The Royals also took advantage of a Mayer Lutheran error in the inning, and three walks.

The Royals pounded out 10 hits from seven players, and had six different players drive in at least a run in the game.

“It was great to see all the players have solid at bats,” Watertown-Mayer coach Justin Stohs said. “Any time you can get nine walks and 10 hits is a great game for the offense.”

David Gallus went 2-for-2, drove in a run and scored twice to lead the Royals’ offense. Andrew Nichols was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Weege was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

With the offense putting up solid numbers, Royals’ starting pitcher Andrew Nichols quietly put together a gem of his own. He threw a complete-game two-hitter to pick up the win, striking out eight and walking only two.


Royals 8, LHS 1

Mayer Lutheran took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly from Cole Buttenhoff, but the Royals exploded for two runs in their own half of the first and four more in the second to take control early and finish off the sweep.

Facing the early 1-0 deficit, Tschida led off with a single for Watertown-Mayer and immediately scored on Elsenpeter’s double. Weege added an RBI single later in the inning to give the Royals the lead for good.

Michael Herd drew a walk to lead off the four-run second for the Royals, and Tschida followed with a double. Elsenpeter followed with a two-run double of his own, and Weege and Johnson added RBI singles later in the inning.

The Royals added two insurance runs in the fourth when they took advantage of two walks and a hit batter. Johnson had an RBI groundout and another run scored on a wild pitch.

Elsenpeter went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs for the Royals, and Tschida went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Weege was 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and Johnson had a hit and two RBIs.

Weege threw a gem on the mound as well, going the distance in a one-hitter in which he struck out five and walked three, allowing just one earned run.

“We got off to a great start getting six runs in the first two innings, and that allowed Brendan Weege to attack the strike zone,” Stohs said.


Jordan 4, Royals 2

Both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning, but that was it for the Royals as they dropped Game 1 to Jordan after the Hubmen added two more runs in the fifth inning. After Jordan scored twice in the top of the first, Watertown-Mayer answered back with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Elsenpeter and Nichols opened with back-to-back singles, and Mark Sandquist and Weege followed with back-to-back sharply hit RBI groundouts to shortstop.

But while the Royals made solid contact in the first inning, with each of the first four hitters hitting shots, the Royals failed to add any runs the rest of the way. They put up seven more hits, but couldn’t get the big hit, leaving the bases loaded in the third and sixth innings and runners on first and third in the fifth.

Nichols led the offense by going 3-for-4 with a run, while Joe Reinert was 2-for-2 and Elsenpeter was 2-for-4 with a run.

Defensively, the Royals were plagued by four errors in the game, which led to two unearned runs. Michael Herd took the loss for the Royals despite allowing only two earned runs in four innings, and striking out three.


Jordan 7, Royals 2

The defensive miscues continued for Watertown-Mayer as the Royals made four more errors — making for eight on the day — as the were swept by Jordan in the doubleheader.

The four errors in Game 2 led to a total of four more unearned runs, spoiling a solid pitching debut from Mark Sandquist, who allowed five runs — only three earned — in four innings of work while striking out three.

The Royals also struggled to get the bats going in Game 2, collecting only four hits, two of which came from Elsenpeter, who added an RBI with a fifth inning single, and scored a run in the first inning on a steal of home that put the Royals on top 1-0 at the time.


Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]