The baseball season came to an untimely end for the Mountain Home Royals last week as they were eliminated from the Area B Class A American Legion District Tourney at Bishop Kelly last Tuesday.
Capitals 7, Royals 6
After opening the tourney Sunday with their 11-8 win over the Boise Seminoles, Mountain Home faced the Boise Capitals Monday afternoon in the quarter-finals and lost 7-6.
Mountain Home had a 3-1 lead after three innings, with Royals pitcher Adrian Martinez looking like he had the game under control, but two costly errors in the fourth led to three unearned Boise runs, as the Capitals took a 4-3 lead.
The Royals tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth, but another error with two out in the fifth opened the door for two more runs by the Capitals as they went up 6-4. The Boise squad added another run in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to three.
Mountain Home was able to score two runs in their last at bat, but left the tying run on base and lost 7-6.
Royals head coach and manager Alex Hoffman was disappointed with the loss, but concentrated on the positives of the game.
"We can take some positives out of it. Jake Hennessey had a great day at the plate, and I thought Adrian threw a great game. It's been the same story for us all year, especially with him on the mound. As far as everything else goes, at least we can say we got beat by a good ball club."
Hennessey had two home runs and two RBIs to lead the Royals. Skylar Quintal had two hits and also drove in a run. Danny Brescia, Adrian Martinez and John Kennison also had hits. Brescia drove in a run.
Martinez suffered the loss to drop to 4-3, despite giving up just one earned run and striking out 11 batters.
Royals 3, Barons 2
Mountain Home faced the Boise Barons Tuesday afternoon in a win or go home game, and got a walk-off single by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh to win 3-2.
Both teams scored a run in the second inning, and it stayed at 1-1 until the sixth, when both teams again scored a run to make it 2-2 after six.
John Kennison led off the seventh for the Royals with a single. The Barons intentionally walked both Jake Hennessey and Adrian Martinez to load the bases. Alex Rodriquez then drilled a single to right to drive in John Kennison with the winning run, as the Royals lived to play again.
"I think we're scrounging for that team that showed up the beginning of June," said Coach Hoffman after the game.
"I've preached all year that we don't want to rely on the big guys we have -- they're here for one thing, and that's to keep us in ball games, but at the same time show the younger guys what leadership's about," the coach added. "For the most part, that's the kind of road we've had to rely on, and it hurts me as a coach, but all the same, you know, this wasn't pretty.
While the team's previous two games weren't pretty, "we still have another ball game to change the pace of the way we want to play," Hoffman said. "So we're going to stay positive and move forward from here."
Alex Rodriguez, who pitched into the sixth inning before being relieved, had two hits and the game-winning RBI. John Kennison, Skylar Quintal and Zach Peterson also had hits. Peterson had an RBI.
Levi Abrahamson, who pitched an inning and a third of scoreless, hitless ball, recorded the win to improve to 5-0.
Gems 7, Royals 4
The win over the Barons put the Royals in the 7 p.m. game Tuesday night against the Boise Gems in another win or go home game. But this time their rally fell short and they lost 7-4.
The Gems took a 1-0 lead in the first, and Mountain Home tied it in the second. It stayed 1-1 until the fifth, when the Gems scored again to go up 2-1.
The Gems broke it open in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs off Royals starter Levi Abrahamson and reliever Skylar Quintal to give them a 7-1 lead.
Mountain Home rallied, scoring three runs, but fell short, 7-4, to see their season end.
Coach Hoffman thought the five-run seventh for the Gems was their downfall, but was proud of his group of guys for not giving up.
"Up until that point it was a heck of a ball game. Levi just didn't have anything left in the tank, and I couldn't leave him out there, as great of a job that he did. And then poor Quintal, he went in there and did nothing but throw strikes and a couple bloopers down the line and a close call, it made the difference for us.
"All the same, it was a great year, and we're not going to let that reflect on some of the things we did this summer."
Jesse Cobos had two hits, including a double for the Royals. Adrian Martinez had an RBI-double, Zach Peterson an RBI-single and Jake Hennessey also had a hit.
Levi Abrahamson suffered the loss to drop to 5-1 on the season.
The Royals finished the season 28-7.
"It was a great year," Coach Hoffman said as he reflected on the season. "I don't think it was as good as it could have been, obviously, and I don't think I ever will, but all the same, I think with the situations we put these guys in, and kind of the way we went about things, I think a lot of kids got better. I hope that some of these freshmen coming up give us four years of their hearts and we can be back in this spot again."
Hoffman loses some good players who played their last year for the Royals, and he knows they will be hard to replace.
"Losing those seniors, we're not only losing good ballplayers, we're losing the heart and soul of this program," the coach said. "It's been that way now for two to four years, so it's going to be hard to replace them. I don't know if they'll every be replaced to be honest, but I've got to say that I'm proud as heck that I've had a chance to give them the little bit of knowledge that I do have, and they're going to be missed."