With their game cancelled last night against the Nanaimo Pirates, the Quality Foods Parksville Royals got some extra time to practise and work on some of the fine points of their game ahead of this weekend’s action.
Wednesday night’s game was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict and has been moved to May 13, giving the Royals an extra day of practice ahead of their doubleheader at home this Saturday against the White Rock Tritons.
They play at Inouye-Wallace field at Springwood Park in Parksville. Game one is at
1 p.m. and game two is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
For head coach Dave Wallace, it’s the little things that they’ve been lacking that he feels need to improve the most.
“We’ve got an extra practice to work on some things,” Wallace said. “We haven’t been consistent for seven innings, so we need to find a way to make that happen,” he said.
“Our hitting hasn’t been the greatest and when you don’t hit the ball, you don’t score runs. We’re competitive though and if we just keep at it, those things are going to turn around for us and we’ll start winning some games.”
Heading into action this weekend, the Royals sit with a 1-7 record but it hasn’t been as bad as the wins and losses would indicate.
The Royals have been close in every game they’ve played and have been doing things well that coach Wallace has noticed early on.
“We have been holding teams from running on us,” Wallace said.
“When you can keep runners on the bases and keep them from stealing to try and move ahead on the base paths, that’s a great thing.”
“Our pitchers have done a good job at making sure they get the ball to the plate at a good pace and our catchers have been able to make good throws to get runners out when need be.”
Owen Kelly will start the first game for the Royals, while Colton Tuka will take the mound for game two.
Kelly has pitched 15 innings so far this season, without a win, and sports a 5.60 ERA to go along with 11 walks and 20 strikeouts.
Tuka has thrown 12.2 innings so far this season and has an ERA at a minuscule 1.10 through two starts.
With the pitching keeping the Royals in the games for the most part, it’s putting it all together both offensively and defensively that’s going to lead to the Royals having better outcomes heading forward.
“Defensively, we’ve been playing well,” Wallace said.
“We could use a few more ground balls and being able to make those plays, that’s going to go a long way in helping us get out of some innings that we haven’t been able to get out of at times so far this season.”
“Our bats need to come alive though, plain and simple. If we can manage to start hitting better, not putting ourselves in a hole when we’re up at the plate by falling behind in the count and being more aggressive, that rubs off on the rest of the team.”
“We need more of that aggressiveness to rub off and start making that a habit.”