After losing their first two games of this season this past weekend, the Quality Foods Parksville Royals will be looking to bounce back this weekend as they play their home opener on Saturday against the Abbotsford Cardinals.
The Royals dropped the first of two games this past Sunday to the Victoria Eagles by a close score of 5-3. In game number two, the Royals ran out of gas as they lost 13-3.
The Royals will have four games at home this weekend, two on Saturday against the Abbotsford Cardinals (12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.) and two on Sunday against the Victoria Mariners (noon and 2:30 p.m.) at Inouye-Wallace Field.
“It was an alright start to the season,” head coach Dave Wallace said. “We played well in the first game and didn’t play very well in that second game. We did a lot of things right in that first game but the second game showed that we’ve got a few things to work on.”
Owen Kelly started game one for the Royals, taking the mound and gave up five runs on five hits over the span of five innings of work. Kelly walked four batters while striking out seven. Colton Tuka came on in relief of Kelly to work the sixth inning, striking out one batter and giving up two hits.
“Owen struggled in the first inning,” Wallace said. “We gave up those three runs in that inning but then he pitched very well from there on out. We came back and got the lead in the third inning and Owen held his own until we got in trouble in the fifth. They took the lead and that was pretty much the ball game.”
Game two saw the Royals jump out to an early 2-0 lead but with pitchers struggling to find the strike zone on the mound in game two, the Eagles would take advantage and put it to the Royals, beating them 13-3.
Adam McKillican started game two, getting roughed up to the tune of seven runs in three innings of work, walking six batters while striking out four. The relief pitching struggled in game two as well, as Matt Stevenson and Robbie Dhut allowed five runs between the two, while Colton Tuka was tagged with a run as well.
“We couldn’t find the strike zone in game two,” Wallace said. “We had good velocity on our pitches but that was about it. We had runners on base too but we just couldn’t get timely hitting that we needed. There were quite a few things that showed in that second game that we’ll be working on this week in practice.”
The Royals now have the week to prepare for the upcoming four game weekend. Monday they’ll be holding a clinic for Oceanside Minor Baseball Tadpole players, showing them the basics of the game.
“It’s a great thing to give back to the community,” Wallace said. “We’re going to be holding a clinic every Monday for the rest of April for the younger players. It’s great to do it because there’s always so much enthusiasm from the younger kids and our team too, it’s great to see.”