The Save-On-Foods Parksville Royals opened the Canada Day weekend with two games against the Victoria Eagles at Inouye-Wallace field on Saturday.
Brady Radcliffe got the start for the red-clad Royals, throwing six innings and allowing four runs, three earned to lead the Royals to a 7-4 win over the Eagles. Brodie Comerford came on to pitch a scoreless seventh for the save. Radcliffe improved his record to a league-leading 8-2 on the season. Jake Nikirk went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Radcliffe, Spencer Walton, and Connor Hall also contributed RBIs.
In game two, Ryan Humphreys got the start but didn’t have his command, throwing four wild pitches and hitting three batters. Shae Verral came on in relief with two aboard and nobody out in the second inning and righted the ship.
Verral threw six innings of shut-out ball requiring only 67 pitches including 48 strikes. The offence, however, couldn’t take advantage of Verral’s mastery and managed only two runs in support. Ben Munger had the big day at the dish going 2-for-3 with a double and a stand-up triple. Josh Laukkanen doubled and scored in the third on Brodie Comerford’s RBI single and Thomas Green rounded out the north Island offense with a triple of his own in the first inning. Eagles ended up with the 5-2 win.
On Canada Day down in Victoria, the Royals took on the Mariners. Laukkanen took the mound and delivered four innings of four run ball. Verral came on in relief and after pitching clean fifth and sixth innings, the Mariners got to him in the seventh, loading the bases with nobody out with the Royals leading 6-4. Coach Frank Kaluzniak turned to Brodie Comerford, who pulled a “Full Houdini” when he took the Mariners down 1-2-3 to clinch a 6-4 win for the Royals and record a save. Comerford earned his second save of the year in grand style and has now allowed just one earned run over 17 innings.
The offense put up six runs on 11 hits and it was Munger again with the hot bat as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, and two RBIs. Laukkanen and Connor Hall each went 2-for-3 with doubles while Spencer Walton had a double and two runs scored.
In the back end of the double-header, Brayden Baker started and battled through 3 1/3 innings allowing eight runs but only two earned. Jacob Volkers came on in relief and allowed four earned runs over 2 2/3 innings. The game was a back and forth affair as the lead changed hands four times in the first four innings until Victoria broke it open with four runs in the sixth to take the win 12-6.
Laukkanen was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, leading the Royals in hitting with a slash line of .352/.500/.562 on the season. Spencer Walton, who caught all 28 innings in the four games, capped off a strong weekend at the plate going 2-for-3 with another three RBIs. Munger was 2-for-4 with another double bringing his line for the weekend to a remarkable 0.538 (7-for-13) with three doubles, twp triples, twp RBIs, and four runs score.
Meanwhile, the Save-On-Foods Parksville Bantam Royals were in Tsawwassen last weekend to take part in the 16-team Kyle Losse Memorial Tournament. The first game in round robin action would see Anson McGorman take to hill for the Royals. After a shaky first inning McGorman would settle in and shut the door on the Chilliwack Cougars striking out 10 batters. Will Roberts led the offence going 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles and a double and an RBI. Austin Walper would add to the hit list with a single and double while driving in three RBI’s. However, it was not enough as a couple of untimely errors was the difference as Chilliwack edge the Royals 7-6.
In game two, the Royals took on the North Shore Padres. Walper would turn in one of his best outings on the mound this season going 6 2/3 innings shutting out the Padres, striking out 9 and walking only one batter. McGorman and Owen Crouse would lead the offence both going 2-for-3 at the plate with a single and double and an RBI each. The Royals would come out on top 7-0.
The Royals took on the Abbotsford Angels next and starting pitcher Ethan Dean was dominant for the Royals. Dean pitched a complete game on 75 pitches and allowed just a run. The boys in purple would back him up with solid defense and some big hits. Kolby Wood went 3-for-3 with three singles, McGorman 2-for-3 with a single with two RBIs. Royals won 5-1.
In the final game of round-robin play, the Royals took on their PBL rivals the North Shore Twins. Ellis Vugteveen turned in a marquee performance on the mound keeping the powerhouse Twins off the board for six innings but the Royals could not solve the Twin’s lefty pitcher and were unable to score any runs in seven innings. The Twin’s would win in the bottom of seventh with a controversial “walk off” walk to win the game.
The Royals finished 2-2 in their pool including two one-run seventh inning losses and fell short of advancing to the semi-finals.
A consolation game versus the Cowichan Mustangs would round out the weekend. Ethan Dean would get the start and throw two innings and Nathan Underhill was overpowering in relief pitching five innings while giving up one run.
Roberts continue to be hot at the plate going 2-for-3 with a single and double. Walper would drive in Cameron Bell in the first inning. The Royals would hold on 1-0 lead until the bottom of the seventh when Mustangs tied it up. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of a lot of one run games lately,” said coach Wes Dieleman. “The chances are there but we haven’t been able to get a lot of timely hits. We will continue to work hard in that area. Our pitchers have been great, giving our team a chance in every game.”
Next weekend the Bantams are off to Victoria to take on the Eagles.
— NEWS Staff/Royals Report