Parksville Royals Nathan Lagos licks his lips as he watches a good pitch get past him against the UBC Thunder. — MIchael Briones photo

Royals can’t find groove on Easter weekend

Parksville goes 0-4 versus Thunder, Tritons

The Save-On-Foods Parksville Royals went into play during the Easter weekend with high hopes but couldn’t find the winning track as they dropped all four of their games.

On Saturday, the boys in purple were outpitched and outworked by the visiting UBC Thunder, who swept the doubleheader 13-5 and 7-3. Jacob Volkers provided the rare highlights going 2-for-4 at the plate in Game 1 and pitched six strong innings to start Game 2. Volkers allowed two earned runs and struck out five.

The next day, the Royals travelled to White Rock to face the Tritons. Starter Shae Verral battled through six innings, allowing six runs, f0ur of them earned on the way to a 6-1 loss.

Game 2 starter Nolan Macdonald changed the momentum entirely as he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrendering a single. The Royals lost 4-3. Macdonald allowed four runs, two earned in 5 1/3 innings. Nathan Lagos continued to terrorize opposing pitchers going 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs.

Junior Royals split with White Rock

The Save-On-Foods Parksville Junior Royals hosted White Rock on Easter Sunday and managed to split the doubleheader losing 6-3 and winning 4-3.

Game 1 starter Ellis Vugteveen pitched into the sixth inning, striking out 10 Triton batters along the way. He allowed only three hits but White Rock took advantage of their opportunities and put four runs on the board. Reliever Nathan Underhill came in to keep it close but errors in the field led to another two unearned runs and White Rock prevailed by a score of 6-3. Elijah Oelke swung the hot stick going 2-for-3 with a double.

The Juniors got into the win column in Game 2 benefiting from more good pitching and some timely hits. Starter Ethan Dean threw five complete, allowing three runs, 1 earned, with six strike-outs. With the home side up by one, Trevor Carter came in to slam door with a six-out save. Cody Jackson and Owen Crouse each posted a double with Cameron Bell and Will Fox each collecting a stolen base and a run scored.

Bantam Royals win 3 of 4 to open the season

The Save-On-Foods Parksville Bantam Royals kicked off their season in style with three victories over the weekend. They beat Marine Navy 12-2 and 9-8 on Saturday, then on Sunday had a split losing the first game 6-1 but bounced back in Game two with a 5-3 decision.

Royals hosted the Mariners at Nunn’s Creek in Campbell River on Saturday. Liam McNamee got the start on the mound in the first game of the season and gave a strong performance going five innings with eight strikeouts. Mcnamee helped his cause going 2-for-2 at the plate with five RBIs. The Royals’ speed offensively was on display as the boys in purple racked up nine stolen bases. Carter Hall, Breydan Riecker, and Thomas Plant led the way with two stolen bases each to helop Royals literally ran away with a 12-2 win.

In Game 2 the Royals had Braendan McLaughlin to the mound. The hulking rookie gave a solid start going 3 1/3 innings with five K’s before running into pitch count issues. The Royals brought in Rylan Baikie and Keitaro Adachi to keep the Mariners at bay. It was a tightly contested game with the lead changing a couple of times. The offence carried the day in the end and with Landon Bowers going 1-for-3 with two runs scored, Riecker also going 1-3 with three more stolen bases, and Owen Lagos and Ethan Vaton also chipping in at the plate while anchoring the defence. The game came down to the wire as the Royals turned to Hall to close it out. He was dominant, striking out the side to cement a 9-8 win and a sweep on the day.

The Bantam Royals faced the visiting North Shore Twins next. Ace Thomas Plant was given the task to face the perennial powerhouse Twins. Plant would go five strong innings with five strikeouts before Ethan Vaton came in relief shutting the door for two innings. The Royals bats were quiet and were able to muster a handful of hits with two of them coming from Tyler Kolopenuk who would go 2-for-3 in the game as the Royals fell to the Twins in Game 1, 6-1.

Heading into the second game of the day and forth game of the weekend, the Royals would send crafty lefty Riecker to the mound. Riecker pitched six innings with five strikeouts allowing only four hits.

In another tight game, the Royals were stellar defensively with diving catches by Adachi and Plant to keep the Royals in the game with the Twins leading 1-0 going into the fourth. Cue the offense as the Royals scored four runs in the bottom of the inning led by Cater Hall with a clutch two RBI double.

The Royals would add another in the fifth with back-to-back doubles by Riecker and Vaton. The Royals sent Landon Bowers to the mound with a 5-3 lead in the 7th inning and he blew the Twins away, striking out the side to collect the save. A strong start for the Bantam Royals who sit in second place in the standings to start the season. Coach Biro was pleased with the team effort.

“In every aspect of the game we worked and won as a team,” said Biro. “Between players executing, filling in defensively, or coming in the game as a relief pitcher; every player contributed and was vital to the team wins.”

This week: The Premier Royals host Victoria Eagles in Campbell River on Saturday and then heads off to White Rock for a rematch with the Tritons. The Junior Royals play in Nanaimo on Wednesday and has the weekend off. The Bantam Royals hit the road for a four-game set versus the Okanagan Athletics.

— NEWS Staff,Royals report

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