With a chance to nab their first conference baseball title, the Rogers Royals had their hopes scuttled by the Big Lake Hornets on Tuesday in Big Lake.
The Hornets swept the Royals 6-1 and 5-2, capturing the Mississippi 8 title. The two teams had shared first place coming in with identical 5-2 conference records. Big Lake is now 7-2 with one game left.
Rogers, 5-4 in conference and 7-6 overall, can still try for second place when they host Cambridge-Isanti on Wednesday in the conference finale. They’re actually playing five straight days with non-conference games against Roseville Area, Park Center and St. Cloud Apollo after that.
Big Lake 6, Rogers 1
Sam Dokkebakken shut down the Royals with a two-hitter, getting the win over Adam Nauth, who pitched for Rogers. Nauth gave up eight hits and four walks, striking out three.
Rogers had an early 1-0 lead when Reid Sagehorn sliced a double down the right-field line and eventually scored on Scott Neubauer’s sac fly in the second.
Tyler Halverson had two hits and two RBI for the Hornets.
Big Lake 5, Rogers 2
The Hornets handed Rogers junior Kyle Ellis his first loss after five wins. Ellis gave up six hits, four walks and two hit batsmen.
The big blow was a three-run homer by Connor Cusick for a 3-2 lead in the second inning. Daniel Kimmer added a two-run single in the sixth. Big Lake used three pitchers.
Brayanlee Santiago-Martinez was 2-for-4. Nauth had a hit and RBI and Kyle Halseth was 1-for-2 with a sac fly.