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Rochester Royals beat Sparta, Wis., in Spamtown Challenge

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

AUSTIN — The Rochester Royals knocked off the defending champions from Sparta, Wis., in their first game of the Spamtown Challenge at Marcusen Park.

Erasing an early two-run deficit, the Royals rallied to beat the Sparta Millers 4-3 in eight innings. Adam Sikkink went the distance on the mound to get the pitching win for the Royals.

After both teams scored a run in the first inning, the defending tourney champs got a pair of runs in the top of the third off Sikkink to take the lead.

The Royals then rallied to tie the score with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Shawn Leimbek hit an RBI single to score Tom Corcoran with the tying run.

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Neither team scored in the seventh, so the game went to an extra inning. Sikkink set down the Millers in the top of the eighth, and that allowed his teammates to score the winning run in the bottom of the frame.

Corcoran singled off Sparta starter Kyle Flatten to ignite the winning rally in the eighth. With one out, Corcoran advanced to third base after an errant pickoff throw by Flatten sailed into right field.

A walk to Leimbek then spelled the end for the Sparta starter. The relief pitcher for the Millers then issued another walk to load the bases.

Josh Matti came up next and drove in the winning run in odd fashion. Matti was hit by a pitch and Corcoran walked home with the winning run.

Rochester Royals (11-3) play a pair of games today against Jamestown, N.D., and Cold Spring in the Spamtown Challenge.

Rochester Royals 4, Sparta 3

Sparta 102 000 00 — 3 4 3

Faribault 100 002 01 — 4 7 3

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Sparta Millers: LP: Kyle Flatten 7 1/3 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K.

Rochester Royals: Tom Corcoran 1-4, 2 runs; Mason Duckett 2-4, run; Shawn Leimbek 1-3, RBI. WP: Adam Sikkink 8 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 HB, 9 K.

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