The Save-On-Foods Parksville Royals continued their hot start to the season, posting two more wins on the road against the White Rock Tritons last weekend.
They swept their doubleheader by scores of 8-4 and 8-2 to lead the 2018 BC Premier Baseball League standings with six wins and no losses.
One of the keys to the Royals’ early success is the impressive pitching of Josh Laukkanen, who started game 1, tossing six innings with six strikeouts while allowing only one earned run. His ERA so far in the season is a microscopic 0.66 after two starts this season. He also helped his cause as he went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. His batting average is .533.
Leadoff batter Thomas Green paced the Royals’ offence and had the big day at the plate going 5-for-7 with a walk in game two. Third baseman Kieran Bowles went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and outfielder Connor Hall had three hits and two RBIs. Hall, in his first year on the senior team, is also off to a sizzling start, hitting .471.
Brady Radcliffe got the start in game two and was dominant, striking out seven and scattering three hits over six innings of shut-out baseball. On the season so far, Radcliffe has three wins, 15 strikeouts over 15 innings pitched, and a sparkling 1.86 ERA.
“Our pitching has been excellent,” said Frankie Kaluzniak. “Combine that with timely hits and you’re going to win games.”
This coming weekend, the senior Royals will be travelling to the Okanagan to take on the Athletics on April 28-29.
Jr Royals struggle in Victoria
The Save-On-Foods Parksville Junior Royals had their hands full with the Victoria Eagles on Saturday, losing both games 11-1 and 14-0.
The Juniors started well in game one but pitcher Jaden Barr ran into trouble in the third inning as the Eagles scored five runs. Travis Frank came on in relief and after blanking the Eagles in the 4th, allowed two runs in the fifth and four in the 6th. Parksville’s lone run came on Nathan Lagos’ double in the fourth that scored lead-off man Jordan Dennis. Eagles pitching held the boys in purple to just four hits in the game.
Game two starter Laine Rogers battled hard but some good at-bats by the Eagles along with too many walks and three defensive errors behind him meant that Rogers couldn’t get out of the first inning. Jordan Dennis came on in relief and allowed no earned runs over three and a third but the damage was done in the 12-run first. The bats were again quiet with singles from Dennis, Barr, and Jacob Stockton making up all of the offence in game two.
“We are striving to be consistent and to work as a unit on defence,” said coach Chad Schultz. “Mental lapses in the field and at bat make it hard to succeed. The good news is that’s correctible and we can certainly improve.”
This coming Sunday, the junior Royals will face the UBC Thunder at UBC.
Bantam Royals open season with 3 big wins
The Save-On-Foods Parksville Bantam Royals opened their season over the weekend and came away with three wins and a loss.
In their home opener on Saturday, at Inouye-Wallace field at Springwood Park against the visiting Victoria Eagles, Ellis Vugteveen got the start and the win allowing only two hits. The offence was the big story as the Royals scored in bunches with a four-run fourth and a five-run sixth on their way to a 10-3 win. Owen Crouse led the barrage, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, and five RBIs. Will Fox went 2-for-3 and Elijah Oelke was 1-for-2 with 2 RBI.
Starting pitcher Anson McGorman was masterful in game two as the Royals won 4-0 and swept the doubleheader from the highly touted Eagles. McGorman pitched five 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, and striking out an amazing 12 batters. Kolby Wood came on in relief and slammed the door on the Eagles to preserve the shut-out.
McGorman delivered at the plate as well with a clutch double in the second inning. Will Roberts collected a key RBI single and Wood and Nathan Underhill also chipped in singles against the vaunted Victoria pitching. On Sunday in White Rock, the bantams won the first game 3-2 and dropped the second 6-0. Game 1 starter Austin Walper allowed just two runs over 5 2/3 innings with six strike outs. The defence came to play and turned two double plays behind him. At the dish, Oelke led the way going 2-for-3 and Fox was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Game two starter Ethan Dean surrendered five runs over 3 2/3 innings. Nathan Underhill pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief allowing 1 run. Oelke and Roberts each contributed two hits but it was not enough as the bantams took their first loss of the season.
“Anytime you can put the ball in play and make the plays you’re supposed to make we will have a chance to succeed,” said coach Wes Dielema. “We did that in our first three games this weekend. We struggled to do that in game four and it cost us.”
The bantam Royals will play at home this weekend to take on the Athletics at the Inouye-Wallace diamond, April 28-29.
— NEWS Staff/Parksville Royals