After a weekend that saw them improve with each game, the Quality Foods Parksville Royals are looking to find the win column again this weekend when they host the Langley Blaze.
With the first pitch being moved to 12:30 on Sunday, the Royals will try to keep their momentum from last weekend when they take to the field. It’s going to be a tough task for the Royals as they take on the Blaze, who sit with a 7-1 record in the B.C. Premier Baseball League season.
“Langley has been solid for the last four or five years,” head coach Dave Wallace said.
“They’re a consistent team and we’re going to have our hands full but if we can play the way we did last weekend and continue to trend in the right direction, we’ll be able to find ourselves in a favourable spot on Sunday.”
Last weekend the Royals started hitting better as the games went on. Finding themselves down 6-0 at one point against the Victoria Mariners, the Royals showed a lot of heart by battling back to within one run on two separate occasions, only to come up on the losing end of it all.
It’s a great sign in the eyes of coach Wallace, who thought his team played very well throughout.
“We showed a lot of heart,” Wallace said. “Being down 6-0 to any team at any point in a game is a tough test. These guys didn’t let that get to them and they battled back.”
“They were hitting the ball very well, our pitching did a great job and we gave ourselves a chance to win every game. I’m very pleased with the way those games went last weekend.”
The Royals could see a returning Ethan Fox in the lineup, who missed all four games last weekend after an injury while warming up on Saturday cost him a weekends worth of games.
“We’re hoping he’ll be ready to go,” Wallace said. “You take Ethan out of the equation, he’s our number three hitter, so we lose a little bit there. But we had guys like Josh Anderson step up, he had to move over to center field instead of playing in right field and he did a great job filling in for Ethan out there. It’s great to have that option when you have a player out of the lineup.”
Also returning for the Royals is catcher Cory Bukauskas, who missed action last week with a prior commitment.
It’ll be a boost to the lineup as Bukauskas shares catching duty with Dean Leyland, who caught all four games last weekend.
“We had some adjustments last weekend,” Wallace said. “Both Owen Kelly and Adam McKillican played shortstop, something they don’t do too much of.”
“But again, being able to have guys fill in like that when we’re missing a few players is nothing but great for this team going forward. It gives us the ability to do it again in the future if we ever run in to that again.”