Royals stumble through double-dip

Parksville team looks for redemption in busy week and another double header Saturday

Colton Tuka and the Quality Foods Parksville Royals were in tough against the Langley Blaze this weekend

It was a tough weekend for the Quality Foods Parksville Royals as they took on the Langley Blaze at home this weekend, losing both games of their double-header on Sunday afternoon.

Game one was a rough outing as the Royals were tagged for eight runs in the game, seven of which came in the fourth inning.

Game two was closer on the scoreboard but the Blaze came away with a 4-1 win.

Owen Kelly took the loss in game one, giving up eight runs in total, six of them earned, while walking five batters and striking out three in just three innings of work.

In game two, Colton Tuka took to the mound and pitched six innings, surrendering two runs, none of them earned, while walking three and striking out three.

“Game one was tough for us,” coach Jim Seredick said. “Our first three innings were well played. It was the fourth inning where the wheels fell off. Our pitching struggled to find the plate and they made us pay for it, plain and simple. Giving up seven runs in an inning is a tough thing to come back from.”

The Royals came back and kept it close in the second game against the Blaze, with the score at 2-1 as they headed in to the seventh and final inning.

Zack Senay, who came on in relief for Tuka, gave up two runs in the top of the seventh inning and that was all the Blaze needed.

Langley would shut the door on the Royals in the bottom of the seventh, handing the Royals their second loss on the day.

Ethan Fox, returning to the Royals lineup after missing the previous weekend with an injury, had an RBI in game one and also had the only RBI for the Royals in game two.

“Pitching was huge for us in game two,” third baseman Liam Ballance said. “They kept us in it but we had a hard time at the plate and putting balls in play.”

“Their pitcher (Kyle Ross) is one of the best in the league and we just had a hard time getting hits off him,” Ballance said.

Ballance and the Royals have a quick turnaround this week as they take on the Nanaimo Pirates on Wednesday, at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo (6 p.m. start).

After a tough week at the plate, Ballance and the Royals need to find a way to move around the bases to score runs.

“I feel as a team, we need to put the ball in play more,” Ballance said. “We’re hitting a lot of fly balls and we need to try to hit more hard line drives.”

“We know that our pitching is going to keep us in the game but we’ve got to be sharp on defense. Nanaimo’s been solid offensively this year so we need to be solid ourselves.”

This weekend will see the Royals taking on the White Rock Tritons on Saturday for another double-header.

Game one is slated to start at 1 p.m. with the back end of the double-dip getting started at 3:30 p.m. at Inouye-Wallace Field at Springwood Park in Parksville.

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