by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The ejection of their starting pitcher was a factor for the Rogers Royals as they lost to the Monticello Magic 5-4 at home Friday.
Kyle Ellis pitched five innings, allowing two runs. With the score 2-2 in the last of the fifth, Ellis was ejected while batting with an 0-2 count.
Rogers coach Brian Harapat said the umpire told him that Ellis “mumbled something negative to himself” but that it was not profanity.
Reliever Adam Olejar gave up three runs in the sixth on a walk, wild pitch, single, throwing error and passed ball. Tommy Como pitched a scoreless seventh. The Royals, down 5-2, got two back in the last of the seventh but fell short.
Harapat commented, “I completely disagree with the ejection. Our players are not allowed to talk to the umpires, and Ellis was well within the code of sportsmanship we have in our program and in the MSHSL. To toss a starting pitcher and leadoff hitter out of a 2-2 conference game … it better be something clear-cut and inappropriate. That clearly wasn’t the case tonight.”
For Monticello (3-1 conference, 3-2 overall), Andrew Manning pitched the distance, striking out eight, allowing seven hits and two walks. Tyler Mros had an RBI double.
Rogers (2-2 conference, 3-2 overall) scored two in the fourth after walks to Mike Terres and Adam Nauth and a single by Peter Fehr. The runs scored on a base running play and a throwing error.
Rogers chipped away in the last of the seventh as Nash Dalzell was hit-by-pitch, Drew Sagehorn singled, Shane Smith singled to right field to send Dalzell home, and Bryanlee Santiago-Martinez hit a sac fly. But Manning got a strikeout to end the game.
Rogers will have six games in six days next week, starting with a conference game at St. Francis on Monday.