Royals struggle in double header

Five runs in first inning dooms Royals during hard fought games against Whalley Chiefs

Dean Leyland and the Quality Foods Parksville Royals will look to get back in the win column this weekend as they host the Whalley Chiefs on Saturday (12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.) at Inouye-Wallace Field at Springwood Park.

The Quality Foods Parksville Royals came home empty handed after losing both games of a doubleheader to the Whalley Chiefs on Saturday.

The Royals fell by scores of 2-0 and 9-3 in Surrey, giving them four straight losses and a 3-7 record.

It’s not for lack of effort, as the Royals were up against some outstanding pitching in the first game. The Chiefs’ Thomas Espig went the distance, throwing seven innings and giving up just one hit while striking out 11 Royals batters.

“That’ll happen against a hot pitcher,” head coach Dave Wallace said. “He (Espig) has four wins and three losses on the season, but even in those losses he’s gone deep in the game and not given up a lot. He’s a tough pitcher to hit and we had problems hitting the ball against him.”

Owen Kelly was the starting pitcher in the first game for the Royals, going five innings while giving up two runs on four hits, striking out five batters.

Zack Senay came on in relief of Kelly, working just one inning and giving up just one hit.

Game two of the double header was better for the Royals, in terms of offensive output, as they were able to drive in three runs.

However, the Royals found themselves down 5-0 after the first inning in a game which saw them give up all nine runs from the Chiefs in the first three innings.

Colton Tuka only lasted the first inning, giving up five runs on six hits with two strikeouts.

Adam McKillican came on in relief for three innings of work, giving up four runs on six hits and striking out five batters. Hayden Scheck finished the game, pitching the final two innings for the Royals, not allowing a hit or a run.

“Tough start to game two,” Wallace said. “We had a mistake on the mound and that cost us a run, then they just piled it on.”

“That’s the tough part of this game, those mental mistakes; they can pop up at anytime. I feel we’ve done a good job so far this season, as a team, to limit those mistakes. But when they do happen, they can be hard to overcome sometimes.”

The Royals are back in action this weekend at Inouye-Wallace Field at Springwood Park, hosting the Chiefs  for a doubleheader this Saturday. Game one starts at 12:15 p.m., with game two following around 2:45 p.m.

With just four wins on the season, the Royals are still ahead of the White Rock Tritons and 1.5 games behind three teams. The good news for the Royals is that all four wins were at home, which they’ll be looking to repeat this weekend.

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