The Rapid City Post 320 American Legion baseball team was looking to extend its eight-game win streak heading into the third and final day of round robin play at the Boulder National Invitational baseball tournament in Boulder, Colo., on Thursday afternoon.
But that didn't happen as the Stars fell behind early and couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities in an 8-3 loss to the Billings, Mont., Royals at Scott Carpenter Park in Boulder.
The Stars defense struggled out of the gates, giving a up a run in the top half of the first inning. Post 320 was unable to answer the early run and the Royals would take advantage, adding to their early lead with pair of runs in the second.
Down 3-0, the Stars got on the board for the first time in the fourth as Devon Romey blasted a double to bring Cam White home from first base.
Post 320 continued to battle back in the seventh, tying the game up at three runs apiece as Zane Salley and Romey scored on an error by Billings’ shortstop Carson Zale. With two outs remaining and runners in scoring position, Connor Burgess grounded out while Brett Beyer pop-flied out to close out the inning.
Zale made up for his seventh inning error in a big way, giving the Royals a late-game advantage with a three-RBI triple in the top of the eighth. Billings scored two more runs in the inning to take an 8-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
The Stars were unable to capitalize once again in the eighth inning, as they left three runners stranded on their way to losing their first game of the tournament.
Ethan Davis picked up the win for the Royals, giving up three runs on nine hits while striking out three batters in eight innings.
Romey took the loss for the Stars, allowing seven runs on seven hits while striking out six in seven innings.
Zale led the way for Billings offensively with three RBIs on two hits, while Jake Orvis had three hits and one RBI and Kolten Wiechman finished with two hits and one RBI.
Romey led the Stars with two hits and one RBI, Salley had two RBIs and Cullen Gilbertson finished with two hits.
The Stars (27-11) will continue tournament play as they take on Boulder Purple today at 4:30 p.m.