Midget, bantam Royals reach semis

Strong start to season for midget AAA and the bantam AA team in Kamloops tournament.

It was a semi successful start to the baseball season for a pair of Ridge Meadows Minor teams.

The midget AAA Royals and the bantam AA team both made it to the semi-finals of the Best of the West tournament in Kamloops, April 12.

The midget Royals squad began the tournament with a double-header, losing the first one to the Sherwood Park Dukes 2-0.

General manager Nor Ljunggren said his team had plenty of opportunities to score, but stranded 10 runners after allowing two unearned runs in a shaky first inning.

In the second game, the Royals faced the North Shore Jr. Twins and battled to a 3-3 tie.

Starter Chris Bailey went eight strong innings, allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out three. Unearned runs came back to plague the Royals, as all three against were the result of errors.

Heading into the second day of the tournament, the Royals faced another double-header, needing to win to win both games to have a chance to make the semi-finals.

Ljunggren said the team came out with a strong effort in the morning, thumping the Calgary Blues Team 2, 6-1.

Trevor Reed went six innings allowing only two hits while striking out nine.

In the afternoon, the Royals edged the White Rock Jr. Tritons 5-4 to clinch a spot in the semi-finals.

However, the midget Royals were trounced 10-2 by the eventual tournament champion, the Calgary Blues Team 1.

In bantam, the Royals started the tournament with a sloppy defensive match-up against the Prince George Knights on Friday. The Royals’ committed a number of errors early in the game, paving the way for a 13-1 drubbing at the hands of the Knights.

Day 2 saw a much different team offensively, as the bantam Royals’ bats erupted in a football-like 18-17 win over the Okotoks Dawgs.

Nick Baust played the hero, hitting a walk-off single to secure the win.

In the final game of the round robin, the Royals bats stayed hot as they tied the White Rock Tritons 12-12.

The tie game secured a semi-finals rematch with the Tritons, only this time in a much lower-scoring affair.

The Royals played much better defence and had their strongest pitching performance of the tournament, but were only able to muster two runs as they fell 4-2.

They finished off the weekend by dropping the third-place game, 10-9 to the Okotoks Dawgs.

“All in all, it was a very good weekend for both teams,” said Ljunggren. “Everyone received lots of playing time, and both teams played against a lot of competition that they will not face in league play. With the regular season now underway, both Royals teams are looking forward to a successful campaign.”

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