“Wow, the kid’s got his curve ball cook’n tonight.”
Homegrown pitcher Nic Annau rang up a season-high 10Ks and surrendered only four hits and one unearned run over five innings, but it wasn’t enough Wednesday evening as Parksville’s Quality Foods Royals came up on the short end of a tight 2-0 final to the BCPBL’s second place Nanaimo Pirates.
“They’re a real good team — part of the league’s upper echelons,” Royals’ pitching coach Jim Seredick surmised of the visitors shortly after commenting on his starter, Annau.
“We played well, our pitching was very good, as it has been all year,” Royals’s skipper Dave Wallace said after the game, adding “we made a couple mistakes on defence that allowed them to score, and we continue to struggle at the plate — and as you know when you don’t score any runs you’re not going to win many games.”
Clarke Ohman was solid in relief for the Royals Wednesday. The Royals committed three errors in that one and the visitors none. Pitcher/first baseman Calvin Sandhu connected for one of the three hits on the game — his first base hit at home this year.
Either way, it was some welcome innings for the young Royals who have had their last three scheduled double headers rained out — their two-game home stand against the Victoria Mariners last Saturday was cancelled when crews arrived at Inouye-Wallace Field to find home plate a good foot underwater.
“We haven’t played in a while,” Wallace confirmed, pointing out his squad is off until next Wednesday “and then it’s 14 games left in about 14 days. Because of the rainouts we’re going to be hard-pressed, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’re going to need everybody in top form — it’s going to be a strain on our pitching.”
Wednesday’s win lifts the Pirates to 26-7 on the BCPBL regular season and one game back of the first place Langley Blaze, while the Royals slip to 8-23 for last in the 13-team high performance league.
This will be the first time in six or seven years the Royals will not host a BCPBL double header on the Canada Day weekend.
GAME ON — The Royals are in Nanaimo Wednesday July 4 against the Pirates and return home July 7 for a double header against the Victoria Eagles. 12:15 p.m. start.
DIAMOND BITS — Royals’ pitchers Nic Annau and Clarke Ohman have been selected to the B.C. provincial team’s second round tryouts for the Canada Cup. Formally called the Blue Jay Cup, the tournament is a big showcase for Canada’s top young players and scouted heavily.