Woodbury baseball: Royals' season ends
Woodbury's season came to a screeching halt Thursday in a game where the eighth-seeded Royals had nearly as many errors as base hits in the first round of the Section 4AAA playoffs against ninth-seeded Roseville in Woodbury.
The Royals committed six errors and finished with seven hits in an 8-2 loss to the Raiders (9-10) in the first round of the section playoffs, but even that figure doesn't account for several other mistakes that ultimately cost Woodbury from advancing. The Royals (11-10) had four errors through the first three innings and misfired on two pickoff attempts at first base that allowed Roseville to keep innings alive.
When given the opportunity the Raiders took advantage and scored two runs after an inning should have ended.
Woodbury also wound up on the wrong end of several plays at first base. At least three times the Royals had a close call at first base on a pickoff attempt and a pair of others while at-bat.
"We gave them way too many outs," Royals head coach Kevin McDermott said. "I don't think six errors is accurate. It might have been closer to eight. I don't know. We certainly didn't bounce back and make the next play. We didn't pick each other up and to their credit they came up and got the next hit."
Royals starter Ben Meyer gave up six runs on 12 hits through 5 1/3 innings. The close calls marred an otherwise adequate start, McDermott said.
"I thought Ben was just fine," McDermott said. "I thought Ben was Ben. I think if we make some plays behind him it's a completely different story. He didn't walk guys, he pounded the zone. They did a good job of battling off some pitches and just kind of flipping their bat and putting it in play. I thought Ben was way better than the results."
Woodbury finished with seven hits in the game, but came away empty handed on most of its chances with runners on. The Royals stranded seven runners and didn't score a run after the third inning.
The loss ended an up-and-down season for Woodbury where the team displayed the ability to compete with some of the top teams in the conference, but also showed how mightily it could struggle.
"There are certainly a lot of plays we left out on the field and it led to a lot of runs and completely changed the complexion of the game," McDermott said. "It's too bad. I can handle losing, but I'd like to lose playing good baseball."
The Royals graduate 10 players from this year's team.
"I really liked our seniors, they were rock solid all year," McDermott said. "I really didn't have any issues with any seniors. They showed good leadership skills and did what they needed to do and played like seniors."
Prior to the playoffs, Woodbury cruised to a 4-0 victory Tuesday over St. Paul Academy in Woodbury to wrap up the regular season. The Royals scored a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pick up the win.
Woodbury senior pitcher Nate Wallgren got the victory on the mound with a complete-game shutout. Wallgren struck out four and gave up four hits.