By Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
The Rogers Royals sputtered most of the Legion baseball season but finished strong at the sub-state tournament, winning three of five games, including an ouster of Elk River, at Osseo.
Rogers, seeded ninth among nine teams, won the play-in game over Mound-Westonka 8-5, lost to Osseo 14-3, stayed alive beating Excelsior 6-5 and Elk River 2-1, and bowed out with a 10-0 loss to Maple Grove.
“It was pretty cool for us,” said coach Ryan Gulden, “to be seeded ninth, and win the play-in game, and beat a good Excelsior team and a good Elk River team. A good way to end.”
Rogers finished 10-16. Main pitchers were seniors-to-be Adam Nauth, Kyle Ellis and Luke Selkin. Hunter Zwach, who’ll be a junior, had an excellent year at third base, said Gulden.
Rogers 8, Mound-Westonka 5 — Adam Nauth pitched eight innings for the win Wednesday, giving up four runs, and Luke Selkin finished. Rogers benefited from several walks by M-W pitchers. Kyle Ellis’ RBI double was the biggest hit.
Osseo 14, Rogers 3 — Top-seeded Osseo cruised in the quarterfinal game Thursday. Rogers starter Peter Fehr took the loss.
Rogers 6, Excelsior 5 — The Royals scored three runs in the ninth to erase a 5-3 deficit, stringing together four hits, Friday. A single by Ellis was followed by three RBI hits: a double by Santiago-Martinez, and singles by Caleb Ries and Scott Neubauer. Ellis, who pitched the distance, got his own save by protecting the lead in the last of the ninth.
Rogers 2, Elk River 1 _ Selkin subdued the Elks, going all nine with a three-hitter and six strikeouts Saturday.
Rogers took a 2-1 lead against Alex Babcock in the sixth when Ellis tripled home a run and scored on a single by Santiago-Martinez.
An inning later, the Elks had runners at second and third with one out when right-fielder Mike Terres caught a fly ball and threw out the runner at the plate to foil the threat.
Maple Grove 10, Rogers 0 — Nauth, pitching on two days rest, took the loss in the season finale.