NORTHFIELD -- Matt Meyer pitched eight strong innings to lead the Rochester Royals past the Northfield Knights 4-2 in the Section 1B playoff opener on Friday night.
The fourth-seeded Royals could wrap up the in the best-of-3 series and earn a state berth with a win at Mayo Field at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The left-handed Meyer, a former minor-league pitcher, held Northfield to two runs, one earned, on six hits over his eight innings of work. He struck out 13 and walked just one against third-seeded Northfield.
Mitch Brown, another former minor-league pitcher, pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save. Brown walked one and struck out one.
The Royals built a 4-0 lead with two runs in both the third and fifth innings.
Alex Holets walked in the third inning and with two outs Sam Warren delivered a big hit with a two-run homer.
Jake Halverson opened the Rochester fifth inning with a single and Holets walked. Michael Michalak and Jared Campbell then drove in runs with RBI singles.
The Royals finished with seven hits. Logan Mielene was 2-for-4 and the only Rochester player with more than one hit. Holets scored a pair of runs.
The Royals (11-7) have now won five straight games. They split a pair of games with Northfield during the regular season.
The winner of the best-of-three series will earn one of the four Class B state tournament berths from Section 1B. The losing team will drop into a redemption series with two other teams in a single-elimination affair to determine the fourth state team from the section.
Brown could be the likely starter when the Royals host the Knights on Sunday afternoon.