Royals struggle in hot double header

The local ball team fought hard but failed to take either of their two weekend games at home

Ethan Fox puts the boom on a pitch for a solo home run during Canada Day action at Inouye-Wallace Field. The Parksville Royals dropped both games to the Victoria Mariners

The Quality Foods Parksville Royals dropped both of their Canada Day games, losing a close first game 5–4 and the second 6–1 to the Victoria Mariners.

The weather was ideal at game time but after playing a close first game, the Royals weren’t able to muster the energy to keep game two close.

Wearing their Canada Day red uniforms, the Royals found themselves in a hole after the top of the first inning in game one, as the Mariners put two on the board, but lead off man Ethan Fox brought life back to the team with one swing of the bat.

Fox cranked a solo home run to left center field, clearing the 365-foot mark to put the Royals on the board in the bottom of the first. It was much needed for the Royals after a shaky start to the top of the first, as Parksville’s Andrew Evernden couldn’t find the zone early on.

“Our pitching had two rough games today, plain and simple,” assistant coach Bruce Biro said. “We had a hard time finding the strike zone and when you’re walking batters, it doesn’t help your cause. We put ourselves in a hole a few times and had a hard time coming out of it.”

The Mariners would tally three more runs after just three innings of play, putting them ahead 5–1. Adam McKillican came on to pitch in the fourth inning in relief of Evernden and that’s where things seemed to turn around for the Royals. Port Alberni’s Dean Leyland drove in Owen Kelly to cut the lead to three and then in the bottom of the fifth, Jarrett Knowles drove in two more to cut the lead to just one. The Mariners would manage to hold on and take game one by a final of 5–4.

The back end of the double header, which the Royals have had a hard time with all season, was a struggle as the heat got to the young roster. The Royals fell behind in the first inning and they couldn’t make a comeback like they did in game one.

“You could tell before the game even began that it was going to be tough for them,” Biro said. “We haven’t been the best team when it comes to the second of back to back games and we continued that trend, unfortunately. Our younger players are still getting used to playing two games in a day and couple that with the heat, it wasn’t a good combination for us.”

Keller Anderson got the start in game two and went three innings, giving up four runs, three of them earned, on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Both Jared Ingersoll and Ethan Fox had solid games at the dish, Ingersolll going a combined 3–5 on the day and Fox going 2–6 with the homerun.

The Royals take on the Okanagan Athletics for four games this weekend, two each day.

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