The Save-On-Foods Parksville Royals were on the road in Kelowna this past weekend and split a four-game set with the Okanagan Athletics.
The Royals took their perfect 6-0 start into the weekend and had four competitive contests. Brady Radcliffe got the start in game 1 and struck out seven Athletics, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. Radcliffe continues his hot start and finished the weekend with a sparkling ERA of 1.69.
Shae Verral came in to close out the Athletics in the sixth and seventh innings. He made short work of the hosts allowing no runs and striking out one batter. Verral has not allowed a run this season.
The offence was firing on all cylinders with contributions up and down the line-up. Radcliffe had two hits as did catcher Spencer Walton who also led the way with two RBIs. First baseman Brodie Comerford was on base in three out of four trips to the plate with a hit and two walks. Final score was 7-2 for the boys in purple.
“Radcliffe was excellent and we got timely hitting late in the game,” said coach Frank Kaluzniak. “We did of good job of situational hitting in game 1.”
Game 2 saw fireballer Ryan Humphreys take the hill but he didn’t have his command, hitting one batter and walking six more over 2 2/3 innings. Humphreys battled and struck out four Athletics but the walks, combined with two errors by the defence, meant it wasn’t his day and the Royals took their first loss of the season, losing 9-5.
Jacob Volkers in his first appearance of the season came on in relief and allowed three earned runs over 3 1/3 innings. Jaxon Ackerman pitched a perfect seventh. At the dish, the Royals stayed hot scoring five runs on seven hits. Josh Laukkanen went two-for-three with an RBI double and Kieran Bowles was on base three times with a double, two walks, and an RBI.
In game 1 on Sunday, Brayden Baker, the workhorse of last season’s formidable rotation, made his return to the team for his first start of the season. Baker showed a little rust, walking the bases loaded in the first inning. He settled down, however, limiting the damage to one run in the first and going on to pitch six strong innings. Baker allowed one earned run and struck out six before being relieved by Aden Richardson who closed out the seventh inning. Final score was 7-3 for the Royals.
Kieran Bowles again led the offence, going two-for-four with a double and four RBIs. Laukkanen went two-for-three with a triple and Kiran Carcary also contributed two hits. Connor Hall was on base three times with a hit and two walks.
The finale saw ace Josh Laukkanen take the hill but he left with an injury with one away in the second inning. Ackerman and Verral did yeoman’s work in emergency relief allowing three earned runs the rest of the way. The Royals bats were quiet on offence, generating only three hits. Okanagan went on to win 6-2.
With their record now 8-2, the league-leading Royals are at home to face the Coquitlam Reds on Saturday and the UBC Thunder on Sunday. Concession opens at 11:30 am Saturday and first pitch is at 12:15 pm.
Bantams take three straight from A’s
The Save-On-Foods Parksville Bantam Royals continued their hot streak over the weekend with three victories over the visiting Okanagan Athletics.
After being rained out on Saturday, the teams got together for three games Sunday at Springwood Park. Ellis Vugteveen was the game 1 starter and got the win, pitching four innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. Will Roberts struck out two batters in relief and didn’t allow a run. Elijah Oelke led the offence going 2-for-3 with a triple and the Royals went on to crush the A’s 10-1.
Game two again saw great pitching from the Parksville side with Anson McGorman and Kolby Wood combining for one earned run over seven strong innings.
McGorman struck out five batters over five innings and then Wood came in and struck out all six batters he faced. McGorman, who has been dominant to start the season with 23 strike-outs in 15 innings of work, left the game and Wood came in to strike out the A’s twice.
The bats stayed hot for the Royals with contributions from one to nine. Oelke, Roberts, and Owen Crouse each had two hits and Cameron Bell had a double. The big hitter of the contest was Vugteveen with a double and his first home run of the season. Pitching and offence added up to a 12-1 victory for the home side.
In the final game of day, Austin Walper took the hill and allowed only two hits and a run over four innings, striking out three. Oelke closed out the fifth with no hits and no runs. The weather was cold and rainy but the Royals were sizzling at the plate. Oelke and McGorman each had two hits and catcher Carter Hall contributed with a single and a double. Kolby Wood came up with the bases loaded in the second inning and cleared the ducks off the pond with a booming double to score three runs.
Bell kept the Royals’ conga line going with a single and his first home run of the season. The Royals won by a final score of 12-1 and outscored Okanagan 34-3 on the day.
The Bantams next take on the Cardinals in Abbotsford on Saturday and are home Sunday afternoon for a doubleheader against the White Rock Tritons.
— NEWS Staff/Parksville Royals report