Parksville Royals second baseman Kieran Bowles snags the ball and gets ready to tag a sliding Victoria Mariner during the opening of their BCPBL playoff series at Springwood Park on Saturday. — Michael Briones photo

Royals, Mariners in do-or-die battle today

After pulling off a stunning 6-3 win in the first game, the Parksville Royals weren’t able to sweep their best-of-three BC Premier Baseball League playoff series against Victoria Mariners when they lost 3-0 in the second game on Saturday

The deciding game three will be played today, at Springwood Park at 12 noon. It’s do or die for both teams whose season series against each other are even at 2-2. They did it again in the playoffs, splitting the series 1-1.

The highlight of Saturday’s duel was Shane Rogers’ crucial home run for the Royals with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eight in the first game.

The score was tied 2-2 going into the eighth. It was the Mariners that surged ahead when Dylan Price opened with a solo blast out of the park to give Victoria a slim 3-2 lead. Royals pitcher Nicholas Yu, despite surrendering a heartbreaking homerun, kept his composure and with the help of his teammates got the next three batters out to keep Parksville within striking distance.

In the bottom of the eighth, with one out, Nolan Baker struck a single and advanced to third when Spencer Walton hit a timely ground rule double. Kiran Carcary loaded the bases when he was intentionally walked.

The Royals even things up when Cam MacNeil got a free pass to first base to bring home Baker for the tying run. With the bases still loaded, Rogers crushed one over the fence and had the local crowd celebrating what appeared to be a grand slam. But it was taken away when Mariners coach protested that Carcary failed to touch third base heading to the home plate. Carcary was called out.

“We were lucky that there was only one out. If there was two outs, we would have been in trouble there,” said coach Jorhn “Frankie” Kaluzniak.

In the second game, the Royals faced Flynn Chester, who has an 1.18 era and had five wins and one loss during the regular season. The Royals weren’t able to figure Chester out and got shut out 3-0.

“He [Chester] has been good all year,” said Kalzuniak. “We need to make a few adjustments later in the game when he’s throwing quite a few fastballs and jump on them when we can.”

For Sunday’s playoff tiebreaker, the Royals will start Grade 11 player Josh Laukkanen on the mound. He was 5-4 in the regular season with a 2.75 era.

“When we needed a guy, he is the one we go to and I am expecting him to give us a chance to win,” said Kalzuniak. “I am hoping to get a few extra bounces our way.”

Just Posted

Town of Qualicum Beach to sell more than $5M in real estate

Sales to pay for recent real estate purchases, including St. Andrews Lodge

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

The Big Read: Vancouver Island mom calls for more mental health services as son battles OCD

Parksville councillor says info more ‘forthcoming’ in the future on supportive housing project

Leanne Salter said she was ‘kept in the dark’ on details about 222 Corfield St. South

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read