Royals’ ace Clayton Isherwood was back on the hill for the hometown club Saturday, as he helped nail down a 6-2 game one win and a split in their BCPBL double header against the Victoria Eagles.
In action up at Inouye-Wallace Field, Isherwood — back home from the Dominican Republic with the Canadian Jr. National team and making his first appearance in almost a month — pitched a complete game, striking out a team-high 13 batters and holding the free-swinging Eagles to two runs on four hits for his team-leading third win of the season.
The Royals’ out hit the Eagles 8-2 in game one. Rob Vlaj stroked a two-RBI single, as did Liam Joyce. Sam Visona scored twice, as did Keller Anderson.
“It was a very well-played, solid game — we swung the bat well,” Royals’ skipper Dave Wallace said after the dust had settled, pointing out eight of the Royals’ nine players contributed with hits.
“Our defence is much improved from a month ago,” he said, “plus we got another strong performance from our pitching. For a guy that hasn’t thrown in a month Clayton pitched a very solid game,” said Wallace.
In game two, the teams were tied 2-2 after five innings but the Eagles put up a four spot in the top of the sixth and went on to win 6-4 to sit seventh in the 13-team league at 19-24, while the Royals remain last at 9-25.
Bryan Pawlina pitched five “very strong innings for us… we battled hard all game long,” said Wallace. “We outhit them (7-5) in the second game as well, we just had a few miscues and paid the price.”
According to Wallace there are seven teams battling for the final two playoff spots. The Royals have 14 regular season games remaining — 10 against teams right above them in the standings.
“Oh yeah,” the longtime skipper answered when asked if his team still has a shot at post-season play. We’ve talked about this — we probably have to win 10 of our last 14 games, which is very achievable,” he said.
The Royals are back home Wednesday for a double header against the fourth place (22-10) Victoria Mariners. Game one goes at 3 p.m., game two at 5:30 p.m. The Royals are on the road this weekend for double headers in Langley and Whalley. The pinstripes return home for their final four-game home-stand of the season July 21-22 against the Vancouver Cannons and North Delta Blue Jays.