In a game that started off slow, the Quality Foods Parksville Royals came back to make the final two innings exciting, but came up short in a 10-6 loss to the Nanaimo Pirates.
The Pirates were leading 9-0 heading in to the sixth, where the Royals were able to put one on the board to avoid the mercy rule. Nanaimo would make it 10-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
The Royals then made it interesting in the seventh, putting five runs on the board with a chance for a few more before they were put away.
“It was an alright game all-around,” head coach Dave Wallace said. “We started off the game very slow. Our pitching wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be and we just couldn’t hit the ball. Those last two innings, our bats came alive and we were able to put some runs on the board. But it was just too little, too late in the end.”
It was the only game the Royals played last week, with a rare weekend off. This week isn’t much different, as the Royals play a handful of exhibition games over the long weekend, rather than hosting B.C.’s Best Baseball Tournament, a recent staple for that weekend.
“The tournament sort of ran it’s course,” Wallace said. “We’ve been putting it on for 20 years and I think the whole financial side of things was getting to be too much for some teams. That and the fact that it’s basically just our league and then a couple out of town teams. It was a great tournament for us to host and brought in a good bit of economy to the city but now we get a chance to look at hosting some other tournaments.”
The Royals’ next official game is May 20, when they host the Pirates (6 p.m. start). This gives the Royals time to work on their game, including consistency.
“It’s a tough thing, trying to get consistent,” Wallace said. “It comes down to being focused for seven innings, keep the concentration on the game all the way through. Emotional maturity is a big factor as well; we need to have that leadership from our senior players. Basically like one shift at a time in hockey, we need to take it one pitch at a time when we’re out there.”
The time will give the players a chance to not only practice the finer things but heal as well. The Royals were without four players in Nanaimo, including three pitchers.
“I think the time off helps,” Wallace said. “It’ll give our guys a chance to rest up that are hurt and help us get better where we need to get better. Having the time between games can be good in that aspect but it’s also a good thing to get in that groove of playing every weekend too.”