The North Island Bantam AAA Royals baseball team is at the Provincials this weekend in Kamloops. They qualified at a tournament in Victoria last weekend.
In their first game the Royals took down the Burnaby Braves 9-3. Clutch hitting, error-free defence and solid pitching by Powell River’s Austin Brown helped earn the win.
They then played the red-hot Nanaimo Pirates who had won five of their last seven games. The winner of this game would get the berth in Kamloops. The North Island squad scored a run in first and then again in the second inning to go up 2-0.
The lead held until the bottom of the fifth, when the Pirates strung together a few hits. After scoring a run on a hit to deep left field, the relay combination of Jacob Ingersoll (centre field) and Liam Janzen (third base) and catcher Cory Bukauskas threw out a runner attempting to score from first base to end the comeback attempt.
The Royals scored two in the sixth and seven in the seventh inning to get the 11-1 victory. Bryce Stromquist threw 75 pitches in a complete game masterpiece.
Royals’ coach Lee McKIllican liked his team’s approach, claiming, “It’s a simple game to win when your pitchers throw strikes, your defence plays error-free and your batters put the ball in play. Nothing fancy, just 12 young men playing good sound baseball.”
The team opens play at the Provincials today (Thursday) as one of 10 teams looking to advance to the Western Canadians in Aldergrove in mid August.
The Royals thank their sponsors for their support this season: Mike Hamilton Logging, Drewry Electric, Courtenay Best Western Plus, Prime Chop House, Comox Valley Subway, Comox Valley Baseball Association, Bailey’s Plastics, Fox Disposal and Hall’s West.
– North Island Bantam AAA Royals