Two Parksville Royals players, Ryan Deagle and Thomas Plant, will head into their final season in purple with their September college plans all sewn up.
Both have agreed to play with the University of Victoria Golden Tide of the Canadian College Baseball Conference.
Head coach Frank Kaluzniak was quick to praise his players as they enter their final B.C. Premier Baseball League season with the Royals.
“Great accomplishment for these guys,” said Kaluzniak. “They’ve been Royals since day one and have shown tremendous and consistent improvements throughout their tenure with the program. I wish both Thomas and Ryan all the best moving forward. They have been a pleasure to coach.”
Plant, six-foot-one and 195 pounds, battled injuries early in 2021 and then showed off an all-around skill set during the season. He demonstrated a patient hitting approach with breakout power from the right side as well as grit and execution on the mound.
“I have been training with the Tide this fall/winter and signed to play with them next year,” said Plant, who is from Courtenay. “I want to thank the Parksville Royals as they have helped me become not only the ballplayer but the person I am today. My goals with the Tide are to bring a championship to Victoria while also getting a good education.”
Signing with the Tide caps off a tremendous 2021 for Deagle, who is six-foot-two and 215 pounds. The Campbell River player absolutely mashed at the plate this past season, with a .333/.453/.547 slash line.
Over the course of the COVID-shortened season and playoffs, he drove in a team-leading 22 runs and hit two homers to go with six doubles and two triples.
Following the season, the team awarded Deagle the Tyler Phillips Memorial award for outstanding performance.
“I wouldn’t be the person or player I am now without the help of coaches Frank, Bruce, Kevin and Russy,” said Deagle. “All of my coaches helped promote me to colleges all over North America and always answered my questions.”
Deagle also trained with the Golden Tide in the fall to help hone his skills.
“Playing with the Royals has been a great experience and I have countless memories of my teammates in so many games and on the road at tournaments” said Deagle. “The recruiting process with the Tide was easy as I trained with them for four months and enjoyed their ways of training and practices. My goal at UVic is to study sciences and play there for one year and move onto an (NCAA) Div. I school on a scholarship.”
UVic coach Curtis Pelletier is excited to have Deagle and Plant.
“We have three coaches who are Royals alumni, including myself, so we believe in what the Parksville program is doing,” Pelletier said. “I’ve had the chance to coach the Biro brothers back in the day as well as Connor Russell. I know the focus on development is strong in Parksville and any chance we can get a Royal on board, we’re ready to jump at that opportunity.”
Ex-Royals pitcher Ethan Dean of Nanoose Bay was also recruited by the Golden Tide in 2020 and will play a key role this September.
“We’ll be leaning on him come conference to be a front-end guy,” said Pelletier.
Meanwhile, Royals Winterball kicks off Jan. 9 for players in Grades 8 to 12. For more information, go to http://parksvilleroyals.pointstreaksites.com/view/parksvilleroyals/news/news_538180
— NEWS Staff, submitted