Parksville’s Junior Royals were in tough last week as they took to the field for uncharacteristic five games in three days, but the learning curve continues.
The young Royals, coming off a split against the Vancouver Cannons the week before, opened the busy BCJPBL stretch last Friday in Victoria with a hard-fought 7-4 loss to the Mariners.
Parksville’s rookie coach Bruce Biro sent his ace Nic Annau to start against the Mariners “giving us four quality innings before Blake Heemskerk came on in relief. The problem for the pitching staff was falling behind in the count, and we try as an organization to emphasize getting ahead in the count, and we lacked in that department and the Mariners made us pay.”
The Royals’ offence was led by Bowser’s Eric Nigut who went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, and scrappy catcher Nic Wassbauer from Parksville who got on board three times on walks.
Back home at Inouye/Wallace Field on Saturday against the league-leading 26-3 Langley Jr. Blaze, the Royals, who are sitting last in the 13-team league at 3-23, were thumped 12-2 in the opener and 16-1 in game two.
Blake Heemskerk got the start on the hill for the Jr. Royals in game two.
“He challenged the Langley bats,” said coach Biro, adding early in the first inning, “he also took a line-drive off the foot just below the ankle. That kid is a gamer, pure heart. He wouldn’t let me take him out, and got right back on the hill and started pitching again.”
“Once again the Blaze bats were too much to handle, but always some positives,” said Biro, pointing to Nolan Badovinac from Port Alberni, one of the two Grade 8s on the team, who came on in relief and was effective.
Back at it Sunday against the North Delta Blue Jays, the Jr. Royals lost the opener 10-1 but dug deep and battled hard in an 8-6 loss in game two.
“We are making huge strides, and putting a competitive team on the field day in and day out. There is lots of talent on this team and lots of these kids will have bright futures within this game.”
The Jr. Royals travel to Nanaimo on Thursday to take not he Jr. Pirates at Serauxman Stadium in Nanaimo, and return home Saturday for a double header against the Abbotsford Cardinals.