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Update: Baseball goes 7-3 in first half of season, now prepares for the final stretch

May 9, 2018

The Royals boys baseball team had a tough end of the season last year when they lost to the Wayzata Trojans in the section final and failed to make the state tournament for the fifth consecutive season.

“This year I think our chemistry is a lot better. You can look up and down the team and you won’t see anyone who doesn’t want to be here,” said Tommy Auth, senior. “We also have a deeper pitching staff this year.

Over the offseason, the Royals home field went under some renovation and it has been transformed into an all turf field. Unfortunately, the Royals didn’t get much practice on it.

This season didn’t start off on a great note for the Royals, they were only able to practice outside once before they were finally able to play their first game. Because of the late snowfall, the Royals were forced to scramble to find indoor space to practice. Luckily, the Royals were able to practice in the Edina dome and inside of Lindbergh Center.

“It was a tough transition, playing on turf is always different because you don’t get the same bounces,” said Bobby Wilson, senior. “It would’ve been nice to be able to get a few more reps on the turf before our game but you have to work with what you’ve got.”

Auth took advantage of the tough situation that forced the team to play inside and would go in early to practice or on off days to get in extra reps. Kyle Chiriboga, senior, also was doing some offseason work.

“I started last fall and it was 5-6 days per week, up until the week before the season,” Chiriboga said. “I train at a place called MacStrength MN and we work on strength training, hitting and throwing. I would go after school and wouldn’t get home until around 7:00 that night.”

Because of all the snow, the season is more compressed this year with 20 games in just over a month. That will put some strain on the arms of the players having to play so many games in such a short amount of time.

The season was finally able to get started on Mon. Apr., 23, when the Royals hosted North St. Paul. The Royals had three straight games to start the season off and went 3-0. Their win streak ended the next game against the Edina Hornets as the Royals dropped to 3-1.

“We’ve been able to get the bats going and being able to get a lead on teams. I think that helps our pitchers because they know they have a lead to work with,” Wilson said.

The Royals had another three straight games a week later.

The second round of three consecutive games didn’t go the same. The Royals went 1-2 and a big reason was because of the errors they made throughout the games.

“I think starting 7-3 is good considering how little time we had outside. There’s some obvious stuff we need to work on, but for the most part it’s been pretty solid,” Auth said.

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