SPARTA — It’s an awkward time for the Knox County Royals.
The players just wrapped up a second-place finish at the Mount Vernon Tournament, and they’re preparing for another tourney in West Virginia starting Thursday.
So, the Royals used Tuesday to refresh themselves by taking on the Mid-Ohio Bullets 16U team, sailing to an 18-2 victory in five innings at Highland Community Park.
“Sometimes, you can go out there and overlook a team like this,” said Royals head coach Mike King. “But we went out there and scored nine runs right away. It gave me a chance to put everybody in.”
As expected, it was an offensive show for Mount Vernon Post 136. The team batted around twice in the run-rule shortened contest, bringing 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and 10 in the fifth.
Riley Swanson went 4-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. Swanson had an RBI in all five plate appearances. He had two RBI singles in the first inning alone, and wrapped up his day with an RBI double in the fifth.
J.D. Orr also went 4-for-4, knocking in two runs. Kory Shackle had two hits and scored four times. Jayben Martin and Nick Rummell each had two hits, with Rummell scoring three runs. Mitch Sellers also scored three runs, collecting one hit.
It was also a chance to get some players some rare time on the mound. Ryan Goetzman, who usually catches, gave his knees a break as Tuesday’s starting pitcher — something he hasn’t done in over two years.
“I’m used to being on the other side of that, not on the throwing side,” said Goetzman. “But it was fun.”
Nick Mazgay came in to pitch one inning of relief. The two combined to pitch four innings, allowing no runs and two hits, striking out two.
“It felt pretty good,” said Mazgay. “I wasn’t throwing very hard. Just trying to throw strikes.”