Scarlets vs. Royals

The Royals' Aiden Montez runs towards first base after bunting against the Scarlets in an American Legion baseball game at Pirtz Field on June 19.

BILLINGS — The Billings Scarlets will try to beat the Royals for the second consecutive time when the two teams square off Thursday night at Dehler Park at 7 p.m.

The game will be a seven-inning conference affair.

In the teams’ last outing on July 10, Scarlets starter Nate Dewar just missed a complete game, being removed after reaching his pitch count limit after throwing 6 2/3 innings in a 7-0 seven-inning victory at Dehler.

In the three previous crosstown matches, the Royals scored 11-1, 14-10 and 2-0 wins before the Scarlets broke through. The first three Scarlets-Royals games this season were at Pirtz Field.

The Scarlets (15-15 overall, 6-8 league) have been idle since the victory over their nemesis. The win over the Royals ended a two-game skid for the Scarlets, who have lost 7 of 9.

The Royals (12-19, 7-9) have lost six straight, including dropping a pair of games to Sheridan (Wyoming) on Monday and a doubleheader at Bozeman on Tuesday.

Royals coach David Swecker said his club hopes to turn things around, starting with the Scarlets on Thursday.

The Royals and Scarlets are playing most of their home games this year at Pirtz Field. However, part of the annual Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers Baseball Tournament was played at Dehler and four July dates between the storied rivals are at the downtown ballpark.

The two Billings American Legion Baseball teams are also scheduled to play each other July 21 at 7 p.m. at Dehler Park and July 30 (Senior Night) at 7 p.m. at Dehler.

“It’s another chance to try and beat our rival and for us to hopefully start to play a little better baseball,” Swecker said. “We are always looking forward to playing a 7 p.m. game under the lights at Dehler. It’s always something you look forward to.”

After the Scarlets defeated the Royals last week, their coach, Adam Hust, said, "We have to prepare. We have a few days off until we play the Royals next Thursday. They'll come out ready for us." 

On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Bullock mandated the use of face coverings, effective immediately, in counties with four or more active cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The order is aimed at certain indoor spaces open to the public and certain organized outdoor activities with 50 or more people when distancing is not possible.

Email Gazette Deputy Sports Editor John Letasky at john.letasky@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJohnL

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