A post-season appearance wasn’t in the cards for this year’s young squad of Parksville’s Quality Foods Royals, but the local boys of the BCPBL strung together three straight wins and played spoilers on the weekend when they hosted the North Delta Blue Jays and the Vancouver Cannons for their final home stand of the season.
“Both the teams we’re playing this weekend are battling for playoff spots, so why not try and play the role of spoiler,” Royals’ skipper Dave Wallace surmised easily from beside the dugout as the teams took to the infield for game one, adding “that’s what I told the guys, we may be out of the playoffs, but let’s go out there and try and win these games.”
And that they did.
On Saturday the pinstripes posted a pair of 3-2 wins to sweep the Blue Jays in their double-header, and on Sunday they carved out a solid 4-1 win over the Cannons in a rainy game one, but were denied the chance at another win when Game 2 was called because of the wet stuff.
North Delta came to town clinging to that number eight spot for the final berth in the second season at 16-28 and were in tough at the outset as they faced Royals’ ace Clayton Isherwood who was on the hill for his final appearance for Parksville. The Royals spotted the Blue Jays a run in the first and second but regrouped and pulled out a big 3-2 win with runs of their own in the 4th, 6th and 7th.
Isherwood, who was dealing with an inflamed elbow, left the game after five innings with the game tied 2-2 having given up two runs (one earned) off only four hits. Big Keller Anderson from Quadra Island came in in relief and kept the ‘Jays off the board to earn the win.
Local catcher Mackenzie Parlow who has been an ironman behind the plate for Parksville this year, was one-for-two and walked twice. Parksville outhit their opponents 9-6 in that one.
Clarke Ohman had a strong game in left field in game one, making a number of running catches and gunning a runner down at home plate with a strong throw on the money.
“That was a great throw,” Wallace confirmed, and made the point “all three of our fielders threw runners out at home this weekend… our outfield was excellent.”
GAME TWO was a scoreless tie through three innings and the Royals took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 4th. The ‘Jays tied it up in the top of the 6th, and Parlow drove in Rob Vlaj with a sac fly to deep center field for what would hold up to be the winning run in the bottom of the frame.
The Blue Jays out-hit the Royals 8-6 in what was a well-played error-free game.
Ohman was solid on the hill for the complete game win.
“Our pitching was good all three games, it’s been our strength all year,” said Wallace, adding “our defense was very consistent, and our execution was excellent all three games. We got hits when we needed to drive in runs and defensively we got the key outs to prevent them from scoring.
“Our guys played real good ball this weekend… it was definitely our most complete, consistent games of the year.”
BACK AT IT Sunday against the 11th place (16-30) Vancouver Cannons, who swept Parksville in Vancouver last Wednesday, the Royals went up 2-0 in the bottom of the 2nd, the Cannons cut it to 2-1 in the top of the 4th, but Parksville closed out the win with two runs in the bottom of the 6th.
It was another good day on the hill for Parksville’s Gr. 11 Nic Annau who worked all seven innings to earn his first BCPBL win. The Royals outhit the Cannons 8-3.
“Nic’s pitched very well for us all year, especially in the last month, and he was real solid for us again today,” said Wallace, adding “he’s probably the hardest worker on the team, and it was nice to see him get rewarded.”
“Our senior guys played very well, they showed the leadership you expect from the senior players,” he said.
Wallace also had extra props for his catcher Parlow, another local product, who by this time next week will have set a club record for games caught in a regular season having been behind home plate every inning for the Royals this year except for his grad weekend (that’s 44 of their 48 games) “and whose receiving and blocking and throwing have really improved this year… he plays that position as good as any catcher in the league in my opinion.
“Full credit to our players, they kept working even though we’re out of the playoffs, and that’s part of what this league is about,” said Wallace, “is going out and putting your best effort forward every time. Especially for our young guys, it just sets the tone for going into the fall and for next year.”
The weekend wins lift the Royals to 13-32 and out of the cellar ahead of White Rock with three games remaining.
The Royals close out the 48-game BCPBL regular season schedule in North Shore against the Twins on Tuesday and then likely play the Cannons in their makeup game for the rare triple header. They could finish as high as 9th.
Looking ahead, the Royals’ annual Fall Ball program gets underway Wednesday, Aug. 29, and runs through to the Thanksgiving weekend in October. The program is open to any players Gr. 9-12 looking for extra playing time. For more information contact Scott Rodway at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Dave at 250-248-2351.