Royals return to Western Canadian championships

Parksville baseball squad places second in nine-team Baseball B.C. Midget AA qualifier

Parksville Royals first baseman Robbie Dhut

Parksville Royals first baseman Robbie Dhut

The Quality Foods Parksville Royals did not qualify for the B.C. Premier Baseball League playoffs this season.

But they will enjoy a little postseason action after qualifying to represent B.C. in the Western Canadian Midget AA championships in Edmonton Aug. 10-14.

The Royals finished second to the Nanaimo Bucs in last weekend’s nine-team Midget AA tournament in White Rock.

As winners, the Bucs will go to Sherbrooke, Quebec for the Canadian championships. The second-place Royals will return to the Western Canadians, which they won with a dramatic, 11th-inning walk-off hit last summer.

“Since we didn’t make the (BCPBL) playoffs, it’s a good way to finish for our grade 12s,” Royals head coach Dave Wallace said. “It gives all the guys a little something extra to look forward to.”

The Royals fell 5-0 in the championship final after blanking Cloverdale, 4-0, in the semifinals.

Previously, the team had swept through pool play with wins over White Rock, Cloverdale and Nanaimo to go into the playoffs as the top seed.

In the meantime, Parksville returned to league play last weekend, dropping a home doubleheader to the Whalley Chiefs of Surrey, 4-1 and 6-1.

Whalley (24-17) overcame a solid pitching effort by Ethan Christensen and reliever Aiden Brot to claw out a 4-0 lead before Jaydan Saban put the Royals on the board with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly that scored Zach Waddington.

It was Saban’s team-leading 16th RBI of the season.

In Saturday’s second game, Kieran Bowles’ RBI double in the third inning scored Thomas Green and drew the Royals (7-34) to 2-1. But the visitors tacked on a run in the top of the fifth and added three late runs in the seventh.

“We’re competing,” said Wallace. “We just aren’t making plays we have to make. Not to take credit away from them, but they didn’t beat us; we beat ourselves.”