Ridge Meadows Royals finish fifth at Kamloops tourney

The Ridge Meadows Royals midget AAA baseball team had an up-and-down weekend in Kamloops, ending up finishing fifth in the 10-team Daley & Sons Can-Am Tournament this past weekend.

The Ridge Meadows Royals midget AAA baseball team had an up-and-down weekend in Kamloops, ending up finishing fifth in the 10-team Daley & Sons Can-Am Tournament this past weekend.

The Royals split games on both Friday and Saturday to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 2-2 record, good enough for third in the five-team pool. The tournament started off with a game against the Mid-Island Mustangs, and saw the Royals come out flat and were down 6-0 after four innings. The Royals avoided the shut-out by pushing two across in the seventh, but still came out on the losing end of a 6-2 score.  The Royals rebounded with a solid 11-4 win over the Sherwood Park A’s on Friday night to end the first day with a 1-1 record.

Saturday saw the team face the Spruce Grove Sox and their starting pitcher managed to hold the Royals bats in check with one of the best fastballs the team has seen this season, according to manager Nor Ljunggren. The Royals eventually scored a couple of runs but it was too little too late as they lost 8-2.  The final game of the round robin matched the Royals against the Red Deer Braves under the lights at Norbrock Stadium.  Cole Johnson started for the Royals and pitched six solid innings before running into trouble in the seventh when Eric Blower, who saw his first mound action of the year this weekend, came on for the save.

On Sunday they faced off with the Edmonton Cardinals. The Royals jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and looked to be well on their way to victory when the Cards came back with five runs in the fourth and added another in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead.  In the sixth, Lucas Tillotson hit a booming two-run double to give the Royals the lead and then scored the insurance run on a Keanen Buckley single to help preserve a 9-7 win.

The team battled through injuries and put forth a strong effort to finish out the tournament. Catcher Dylan MacDermid played the final two games after being used sparingly at the position this season, and Eric Blower, who made three appearances on the mound after not pitching since last season didn’t allow an earned run in 6.2 innings.  The team now gets a couple of days off before returning to league play tonight against Tri-City before hosting the Interior teams, South Okanagan and Kamloops, this weekend at the Albion Sports Complex.