The Ridge Meadows Royals appeared to be on the verge of their second tournament title of the season over the weekend in Kamloops, but they could not hang on in the final game and ended up placing second in the 10-team Kamloops Can-Am Classic.
The midget tournament began on Friday morning against the Calgary Dinos. Seth Injates had a strong game on both sides of the ball: throwing seven strong innings allowing two runs on four hits and striking out seven, while also driving in three runs.
The Royals made a few costly mistakes and ended up on the wrong end of a 5-4 score in 9 innings.
In the second game of the day, the Royals bounced back with a 2-1 win over the North Delta Jr. Blue Jays. Chris Bailey started and went 4.2 innings while striking out three. Tristan Reed picked up the win in relief, allowing only a hit while fanning three.
On Saturday the Royals entered the day knowing that they needed two wins in order to have a chance at qualifying for the semi-finals. The bats came out hot as they mercied the Aldergrove Dodgers 10-0 in six innings.Trevor Biggin dominated on the mound for the Royals, allowing only two hits while striking out five.
The Royals’ fourth and final round-robin game saw them beat the Spruce Grove White Sox 5-4 in 10 innings. Injates drove in Domenic Baptista in the 10th to secure the walk-off win and a place in the semi-finals. Trevor Reed threw 7.2 innings allowing 4 runs while striking out 6.
In Sunday morning’s semi-final the Royals shut out the White Rock Jr. Tritons 6-0. Bailey, in his second start of the tournament, was lights-out on the mound, throwing a complete game shutout while fanning seven. Brayden Slaughter led the way offensively, going 3-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Kyron Smith also had a strong game, going 1-3 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base.
The championship was a rematch with Spruce Grove. Much like the day before, this game was a barn-burner that came right down to the final pitch between two solid teams. The Royals jumped out to an early lead and held a 4-0 advantage after four innings. Spruce Grove, much as the Royals had done the night before, fought back and tied the game 4-4 after five innings.
The Royals jumped back ahead and held a 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the seventh. However, the Royals could not hold on despite being a strike away from victory, as the White Sox scored two runs to win by a final of 6-5.
Kyron Smith had a solid day at the plate, hitting a double and a triple with an RBI and a run scored.
The Royals will return to league play this week, with five games on the schedule. Their magic number to clinch the regular season title is one, and they will have their first chance to secure their third pennant in five seasons with a win against Tri-City on Wednesday.