With just the one game on tap this week, the Quality Foods Parksville Royals are using their spare time to get in some good practices and fine-tune some of the smaller aspects of their team game ahead of a busy month of June.
The Royals were in Nanaimo last night, taking on the Nanaimo Pirates (score not available at press time) in their only game this week. With the rare weekend off, the Royals have been making good use of their practice time to prepare for the busy schedule that awaits them.
“It’s nice to have this time off right now,” head coach Dave Wallace said.
“It gives us a chance to charge up the batteries, we’ve got a few pitchers with some minor injuries that will allow them to heal up. It’s a good thing to have some down time, especially for these kids, because it’s going to be busy for the rest of the season.”
Winners of two of their first 10 games this season, the Royals have had chances to win games early on but haven’t been able to capitalize on bringing runs around when needed. Hitting has been one of the weaker points in the Royals game at the early point this season but coach Wallace knows it will turn around in due time.
“Our last game was a good indicator of it coming around,” Wallace said. “We were looking to be much more aggressive at the plate against White Rock and we showed that we were more than capable of doing so. Our hitting hasn’t been as strong as it could be so we’re spending a good deal of time in these practices to get some swings in, really break down each hitter and looking to improve each at bat going forward.”
Wallace has liked what he’s seen from his team so far, with the team defense making it tough on opposing teams to move up on the base paths by stealing bases, it’s made life easier on the pitching staff to not have to worry all that much about runners making a break for it.
Along with a solid defense, being able to limit the mental mistakes on defense will also go a long way for the Royals in giving them an even better shot at winning ball games.
“We know what our pitching is like,” Wallace said. “They give us a good shot at winning the game, it’s the rest of the game that needs to be that way. Our defense has been good but there’s always room for improvement. If we can eliminate the mental errors that we make in the field then that will go a long way in helping us win some ballgames and give us a lot more confidence as a team.”
Taking advantage of the situations their given in games is a huge factor, not just for the Royals but all teams in baseball, and it’s something that Wallace sees will come with repetition.
“This practice time gives us a good chance to develop good habits,” Wallace said.
“Working on all situations, hitting, running, fielding, it’s all going to come with getting lots of reps in. Those reps will build the habits that we need to have to win games.”