MISSOULA – The Billings Royals led early but came up short down the stretch Thursday in a 7-6 Northwest Regional loss to Yakima, Wash.
Jarret Leinwand opened the scoring with a third-inning single to plate Connor Hunter. Dawson Smith followed to make it 2-0 Royals when his single scored Jayden Kay.
Yakima wasted no time answering in the bottom half when Spencer Bailey’s double scored Jackson VanDeBrake to tie it at 2-2.
Billings regained the lead to start the fourth when Connor Polkowske singled home Dann Blanchard. Two Yakima errors in the inning proved costly. With the bases loaded, Kay hit a sacrifice fly to center deep enough for Michael Morehead to tag and race home from third. Leinwand followed with a single up the middle scoring Polkowske for a 5-2 Billings lead before Yakima was able to close the inning.
But Washington blew up for a five-run bottom half to regain the lead at 7-5. The Royals scored one in the seventh but left the tying run stranded to end the game.
Each team committed four errors. Yakima out-hit Billings 11-10.
The Royals face Juneau, Alaska, in a loser-out game Friday at 1 p.m. Yakima plays Thursday night’s winner between Meridian (Idaho) and. Cheyenne (Wyo.).
American Legion Baseball Northwest Regional Tournament
Aug. 8-12 at Allegiance Field, Missoula
Wednesday, first round
Game 1: Yakima (Wash.) 4, Medford (Ore.) 3
Game 2: Meridian (Idaho) 8, Juneau (Alaska) 7
Game 3: Billings Royals 11, Waipahu (Hawaii) 8
Game 4: Cheyenne (Wyo.) 5, Missoula Mavericks 3
Game 5: Waipahu (Hawaii) 6, Medford (Ore.) 5, loser-out
Game 6: Juneau (Alaska) 13, Missoula Mavericks 9, loser-out
Game 7: Yakima (Wash.) 7, Billings Royals 6
Game 8: Meridian (Idaho) vs. Cheyenne (Wyo.), second round, 7 p.m.
Game 9: Game 7 Billings Royals vs. Juneau (Alaska), loser-out, 1 p.m.
Game 10: Game 8 loser vs. Waipahu (Hawaii), loser-out, 4 p.m.
Game 11: Yakima (Wash.) vs. Game 8 winner, quarterfinal, 7 p.m.
Game 12: Game 11 loser vs. Game 9 winner, loser-out, 4 p.m.
Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 10 winner, semifinal, 7 p.m.
Notes: Pairings for Games 12 and 13 will not match previous opponents against each other unless absolutely necessary. If three one-loss teams remain after Game 13, the winner of Game 11 automatically draw the bye for Game 14.
Game 14: Game 13 winner vs. Game 12 winner, championship, 1 p.m.
Gamd 15: Second championship, if necessary, 4 p.m.