Parksville’s Junior Royals baseball team marked their return to the BC Junior Premier Baseball League at home Saturday with an inspired win when they clipped the Victoria Eagles 3-2 in game one of their double header up at Inouye/Wallace Field.
Back in the mix after a year on the shelf, the young Royals lost the second 13-7 for the split.
Parksville’s Nick Annau pitched six strong innings in the opener. Nolan Badovanic from Port Alberni drove in two of the three runs, and the young squad played very well defensively.
“They were quite solid for their first game. It was a well-played game,” said Royals’ skipper Dave Wallace.
The Royals were unable to field a junior team last year for the first time in four years. Two years ago they made the playoffs and came up just short in the semifinals.
“I was thinking about it,” Royals skipper Dave Wallace chuckled from the dugout Sunday, pointing out, “there was a while there after game one on Saturday where he (Jr. Royals coach Bruce Biro) was the only undefeated coach in Royals’ history.”
“Aaaah fame, so fleeting …” Royals’ longtme pitching coach Jim Seredick panned brilliantly.
Pressed later for more on that and Wallace confirmed that no Jr. Royals coach has ever won his first game, and that if memory serves him correct he lost his first game as Royals coach 17 years ago.
“To be honest I can’t remember for sure … we’ve played over eleven hundred games … we play about 75 games a year so that’s over 12 hundred games, wow, I’ve never looked at it like that before.”
As for this year’s squad of Jr. Royals, Wallace confirmed, “they played a very solid game in game one and game two. There’s lots of enthusiasm there that’s for sure. They’re going to be okay, and its great for the Royals organization for us to field a junior team again. It helps sustain the whole program.”
Pressed on how much time he spends up at the old ball park, Wallace said, “over 14 hours a week, that’s fairly typical even more when were on the road, and I live here … we have kids coming from Campbell River. It’s a big commitment.”
Asked what keeps him going Wallace said, “the feedback you get from the kids. I enjoy the kids, I enjoy the parents and being around all the other people in our organization. They do a great job.”
The Junior Royals are in White Rock on Saturday against the Tritons.