The Helena Senators dropped their Class AA Legion baseball season finale on Friday in Billings, edged by the Royals 7-4.
The Senators will enter next week's State AA Tournament 30-23 overall, and at 12-6 in conference play. The Royals finish at 13-5 in league play.
Billings starter Cade Torgerson pitched a three-hitter over 7 innings, allowing four runs with five strikeouts. He was relieved by Brooks Zimmer, who recorded the save with two frames of scoreless, one-hit ball, striking out two.
Carter Pappas started on the hill for Helena, and went 5 innings in the loss. He surrendered five hits and two runs, fanning five Royals. Ray Moore Jr. spelled Pappas for two stanzas, permitting five hits and five runs. Andrew Rosston relieved the scoreless eighth inning.
The Royals scored two runs in the second, and three in the sixth frame, for a 5-0 lead heading into the seventh.
The Senators erupted for four in the top of the seventh to close within one, but Billings answered back in their half of the inning with the final two tallies of the game, which held up for the winning, three-run margin.
Connor Polkowskie (3 for 4), Carson Klompien (4 for 5) and Sam Evenson (home run) posted two RBIs apiece for the Magic City Club.
Helena's offense was led by Ryan Arntson, who laced a two-run double. Jackson Maynard (single) and Eamonn Byrne (sacrifice) drove in the Senators other two scores. Rosston chipped in with a double.
"It took us a while to get back on our feet today," Coach Dave Thennis said. "Last night was a tough loss for the guys. Once we were over that, we played tough to end the ball game. We will hope for a bit of help to move up in the seeding."
Next up, Thennis' Senators will compete in the Alberta-Montana AA Legion tourney in Bozeman, beginning on Wednesday.
-- Curt Synness