Cam MacNeil belted a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the third inning to give the Parksville Royals their first lead, and the senior team pulled away for a 9-3 win over the Mid-Island Pirates in B.C. Premier Baseball League play at Springwood Park Sunday.
The Royals improved to 6-2 with a 4-1 win in the second game of the teams’ doubleheader, with MacNeill again providing a key RBI single in the clinching, four-run sixth inning.
Robinder Dhut, who came on in relief to snuff a fifth-inning rally in the opening game, was the winner in the nightcap with two innings of scoreless relief.
The Pirates (2-6) led 1-0 through five innings of a tight pitcher’s duel between Mid-Island starter Gavin Pringle and Parksville’s Jayden Marsh.
Marsh and Dhut combined on a three-hitter while striking out 13 batters, including 10 K’s from Marsh in his five innings of work. Dhut and Spencer Walton each drew bases-loaded walks to drive in runs in the pivotal sixth inning.
In the opener, the Royals rallied from early deficits of 1-0 and 2-1. After taking the lead on MacNeil’s third-inning double, the hosts extended the margin with a four-run fourth inning that featured a two-run single by Shane Rogers and an RBI double from catcher Dylan Kirby.
Rogers finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and MacNeill was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Brayden Baker started the opener for the Royals and pitched his way out of several jams in four innings of work. With Parksville leading 7-2 to start the fifth inning, the Pirates scored one run and put runners on second and third with nobody out. Dhut came in from the bullpen to strike out the side and end the threat with no further damage. Finn Martin closed out the contest, allowing just one walk in a scoreless seventh inning.
The Royals return to league play this weekend with a road trip to face the Whalley Chiefs (2-2) in a doubleheader in Surrey Saturday, followed by a short trip south to face the White Rock Tritons (1-3) Sunday afternoon. Parksville’s next home games will come in a May 13 doubleheader against the Tritons.