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The Winner/Colome Royals break the huddle before the season opener with Todd County
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Winner/Colome Royals have twin-bill with Pierre on Thursday
Apr 4, 2017

By Rich Winter

Make no mistake about it there will be some extra juice at the Leahy Bowl Thursday as the Pierre Governors come to town for a double-header with the Winner/Colome Royals. 


You can dust this one off anyway you want but the defending Class B champs have got to be itching at the big-boy Govs, one of the better Class A baseball programs in the state. While you can bet there will be some juice in Winner Thursday night, Royals coach Drew Weber said the coaches and team are treating it just like another early season game. 


   "The DH against Pierre will be a good early test to see where we are now, but it’s not something that us coaches are going to game plan any differently for," Drew Weber said. "One thing we really focus on is taking care of our pitchers’ arms as it’s a long time between now and the end of our baseball season, so we aren’t going to throw anyone more than 2-3 innings for the first month or so of the season. Pierre will give our guys a look at some quality pitching that we desperately need to see and our defense will get some pressure put on it with facing a tough offensive team. We’re really looking forward to the challenge."


Thus far it's been all systems go for the Royals who have two wins in two outings vs. Todd County and Bennett County, having yet to yield a run this season. 


"I’ve been pleased through the first two games with our pitchers’ ability to throw strikes and work fast. We have thrown 6 different guys in the first 12 innings of the season and each of them have challenged hitters and attacked the strike zone, which is something that we focus on," Weber said. "I’ve also been pretty happy with our ability to cause havoc of the base paths. We have some good, quick athletes with good baseball knowledge that we can trust to be aggressive on the base paths and it’s worked well for us early in the season."


While the Royals beat Todd County, 10-0 and Bennett County, 9-0, the lumber hasn't exactly woken up just yet and Weber wants his guys to get a bit more aggressive when they are in the dish. 


"Our bats definitely aren’t where we expect them to be at this part of the season. Our M.O. offensively is to be patient and work counts, but we’ve taken that to the extreme early in the season and need to be a little more aggressive at the plate," Weber said. "We realize we won’t be able to walk our way to another state tourney appearance and need to be able to string together hits in order to score runs. The bats will heat up with the weather as we move forward."


One of the guys that Weber is glad to have back in the lineup is Levi McLanahan, who missed last year with an injury. 

"It’s really nice to have Levi McLanahan back out for us this year after being out last year with an injury. He provides some pop in the middle of the lineup and also plays some solid defense at first or in the outfield. He is also our only left-handed bat and he is someone we can rely on to throw some strong innings on the mound," Weber said. 


Make no mistake about it, this is the big-time for the Winner/Colome baseball team. Not a lot of chances to run shoulders with the bigger schools. Seems like W/C has a double-header, return favor in Pierre later this year, and a matchup with Mitchell. 


Thursday's double-header will be broadcast on liveticket.tv and of course winnerwarriorslive.com

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