Royals win MSBL title on walk-off home run

Nearly three hours after the first pitch, the Rookies-Coughlin’s Royals won the 2014 Chautauqua Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL) championship in dramatic fashion.

With no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jason Behnke led off the frame with a walk-off home run over the right field fence to give the Royals a 3-2 victory over the Jamestown Teacher’s Association Mets.

Kevin Rose picked up the win on the mound after entering the game in the ninth inning to relieve starter Dylan Bennett.

Bennett dominated the Mets over the course of eight innings before finally giving way to Rose. Bennett finished with 11 strike outs while allowing zero earned runs.

The Mets struck first in the top of the first inning when leadoff batter Ricky Carlson reached on an infield error and later scored on a second defensive lapse.

The Royals quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning when Bennett reached on an error and scored on a double by John Papierski.

The Royals took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Joe Coughlin singled and pinch runner Matt Grace stole second and scored on a Behnke RBI single.

But once again, the trailing team answered in the following half inning as Jay Grann doubled and scored on a Josh Melquist RBI single in the top of the fourth.

And then the power went out.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the game was delayed nearly half an hour when two banks of lights went out due to an overheated circuit breaker.

Once the lights came back on, solid pitching and timely defense held the score at 2-2 beyond the regulation seven innings and into the ninth before Behnke once again turned out the lights.

Ricky Carlson took the loss for the Mets. Carlson entered the game in the sixth inning and struck out five before surrendering the game-winning home run.

Mike Matz got the start for the Mets and had the Royals’ batters off balance over the course of five-plus innings. Matz finished with seven strikeouts and allowed a single earned run.

Behnke finished the game 3 for 3 with a walk, two singles and two RBIs to go along with his dramatic line-drive shot to end the game.

The Chautauqua Men’s Senior Baseball League is a wood bat baseball league for men 25-plus years of age and currently has eight teams representing Dunkirk, Fredonia, Silver Creek, Jamestown, Gowanda and Frewsburg.