Nathan Lagos will join the Vancouver Island University Mariners baseball team this coming school year. — File photo

Nathan Lagos will join the Vancouver Island University Mariners baseball team this coming school year. — File photo

Eight Parksville Royals move on to collegiate baseball

Players earn a chance to play at a higher level

Eight Save-On-Foods Parksville Royals, who graduated high school this year, will play ball at the collegiate level.

The club proudly announced that out of the nine graduates this year, eight will be getting an opportunity to start another chapter of their baseball career at collegiate schools in Canada and the United States.

Over the course of the Royals’ 25 year history, 84 players have realized their goals to play at the college level.

The Royals’ baseball program focuses on providing opportunities for North Island youth who are serious about bringing their game to the next level.

The players who were recruited to play collegiate ball are Kieran Bowles and Nolan Macdonald of Parksville, Jacob Volkers of Comox, Tim Holyk of Nanaimo, Keegan Chard-Hill and Carter Chard-Hill of Powell River and Brodie Comerford and Nathan Lagos of Campbell River.

Bowles will suit up for the Nebraska Northeast Hawks of the NJCAA Division II, which finished 6th last year. This past season, Bowles was an all-round player, assuming the roles of short stop, third base, catcher and pitcher. He finished with a .290 batting average. The highlight of his season was the home game against Coquitlam where he went 2-for-2 at bat and stole four bases. He is listed as an infielder for the Hawks this coming season.

Volkers and Holyk will team up in Montana where they will be playing for the Miles City Community College of the NJCAA Div II. Volkers pitched 50+ innings for the Royals and led the team in wins while throwing three complete games including a no-hitter. Holyk was a stalwart on the infield and brings a steely focus to his play. Holyk’s highlight reel includes a game at UBC where he went 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base.

The Chard-Hill brothers will not travel far as they head to Nanaimo to play for VIU at the Canadian College Baseball Conference. Keegan caught 90 innings for the Royals with an impressive fielding percentage of .989 and six assists.

Carter, on the other hand, made his first appearance of the season in mid-May following his recovery from a 2018 shoulder injury. He threw 39 innings with an ERA of 3.23 including a complete game two-hitter against UBC.

Also joining the Charid-Hill brothers at VIU will be pitcher Comerford, who threw 35 innings with a sparkling 1.20 ERA. His highlight reel includes a complete game victory over the Victoria Mariners where he struck out seven and allowed only four base-runners.

Lagos will also don the VIU jersey. He was a regular in the outfield and stepped up to throw 12 innings in relief appearances. One of Nathan’s most memorable games came in a victory against Victoria where he went 2-for-4 and crushed a clutch go-ahead triple with the bases loaded.

Macdonald will play for Douglas College Royals of the North West Athletic Conference, which has a long history of developing and graduating players. Macdonald was a regular on the mound for the Royals this past season. On the scoresheet, his highlight came in his start on the road against Okanagan when he threw a complete game 2-hitter.

Royals senior general manager Mike Parlow is pleased to see the Royals players get rewarded for their hard work.

“These young men bring their efforts to bear against the highest level of competition in the province,” said Parlow. “It can be difficult to maintain the focus required to achieve your goals with all of the challenges and distractions that Grade 12 students face. I wish them all the greatest success in their future endeavours,” said Parlow.

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