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Fort Macleod Royals head into American Legion baseball league playoffs

Ryan Cook on the mound for the Fort Macleod Royals against Medicine Hat Knights.

Ryan Cook on the mound for the Fort Macleod Royals against Medicine Hat Knights.

Fort Macleod Royals control their own destiny as they head into the American Legion baseball district playoffs.
The Royals join the league’s six other teams in the four-day tournament at Vauxhall.
“We have as much of a shot to win as anyone,” Royals head coach Ben Paskal said. “With the parity throughout the league this season anything is possible. It is going to be an interesting tournament.”
The Royals enter the tournament in fifth place after regular season play behind Great Falls Chargers, Lethbridge Miners, Medicine Hat Knights and Vauxhall Spurs.
Trailing the Royals in the standings are Havre North Stars and Tri-County Cardinals.
Fort Macleod has won against every team in the league this season except Vauxhall, who they meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in their first game of the tournament.
“We need to focus on the simple things to be successful and not try and do too much,” Paskal said of his own team. “We need to throw strikes, make plays that have to be made and capitalize on our chances offensively.”
The tournament is a double knockout formula so all teams have a second life if they lose a game along the way.
The teams are used to playing seven-inning games in doubleheaders, and will have to adjust to playing nine innings at districts.
“The nine-inning games we play in the tournament can play a major factor,” Paskal said. “There is a lot of game to turn things around or to let things slip away. We have to stay focused, keep up our intensity, and stick to our game plan.”
The Royals are Ryan Cook, Aidan Kidd, Danny Shepherd, Jack Shepherd, Ryden Attwood, Ty Odney, Blair Goodreau, Tyson Goodreau, TJ Tornquist, Garet Burton, Josh Foster, Kelten Jensen and Michael McTighe. Assistant coach is Brad Kropinak.
The Royals wrapped up the regular season with a pair of doubleheaders.
Knights 16 Royals 13
The businesses that support the Royals were treated to an exciting night of baseball July 16 as Fort Macleod split a doubleheader with visiting Medicine Hat Knights.
The Knights broke open a tight game with nine runs in the seventh inning and then withstood the Royals own late charge for a 16-13 win in the opener.
Danny Shepherd pitched seven innings for the Royals, surrendering seven runs on eight hits and two walks, with a single strikeout.
Garet Burton took over in the seventh but got chased after allowing two runs on one hit and a walk.
Josh Foster then came to the mound and got two outs, but not before he was roughed up for five runs on a hit and two walks.
Blair Goodreau came on the get the final out, allowing two runs on a hit and a walk.
Goodreau was an offensive force for the Royals, driving in five runs on two hits and Shepherd went 4-for-4 with a double, a triple and an RBI.
Cook went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Burton went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI and Kidd went 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI.
Tornquist had two hits, including a double, in four trips to the plate with a walk and an RBI and Odney drove in a run with a double in three at-bats.

TJ Tornquist tries to pick off a Medicine Hat Knight at first base.

TJ Tornquist tries to pick off a Medicine Hat Knight at first base.

Royals 6 Knights 3
The teams tightened up defensively in the nightcap, with the Royals winning 6-3.
Cook pitched six innings to earn the win, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Tornquist and Jack Shepherd mopped up in relief in the seventh inning.
Burton went 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk and an RBI and Foster picked up two RBIs.
Jack Shepherd and Tornquist had doubles and Kidd, Jensen and Odney hit singles for the Royals.
Spurs 7 Royals 2
On Sunday the Royals lost both ends of a doubleheader at Vauxhall.
The first game was close, with the Spurs exploding for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 7-2 win.
Cook pitched five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks.
Burton took over in the sixth and was tagged for four runs on four hits and a walk. Kidd came on to get the final two outs.
Danny Shepherd went 1-for-2 and drove in a run and Jack Shepherd had a single in three trips to the plate to drive in the other run.
Tyson Goodreau went 2-for-2, Attwood and Kidd both went 2-for-4 and Burton had a single.
Spurs 3 Royals 1
Fort Macleod left 12 runners stranded in the second game as Vauxhall stole a 3-1 win.
Danny Shepherd took the loss as he gave up three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four in five innings of work.
Foster pitched an inning in relief, giving up a hit and a walk while holding Vauxhall off the scoreboard.
Shepherd helped his own cause at the plate as he went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a walk.
Cook went 2-for-3, Attwood and Blair Goodreau both went 1-for-3 with a walk, Foster went 1-for-4, Tornquist went 1-for-2 with a walk and Jensen went 1-for-3.

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