Royals Begin 2018 BC Premier Baseball League Season With Sweep of Eagles

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The Parksville Royals had much to celebrate Sunday as they cruised to 17-3 and 11-3 wins over the Victoria Eagles in the first two games of the 2018 BCPBL season (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

April 1, 2018, Victoria, BC – Taking a page from Major League Baseball, who began their 2018 campaign this week on the earliest date ever, the Victoria Eagles and Parksville Royals began the 2018 BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) season a week earlier than originally scheduled, with the Royals coming away with a sweep of the Eagles in double-header action Sunday at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

The Victoria Eagle's Hayden Wilcox throws the first pitch of the 2018 season against the Parksville Royals on Sunday in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The Victoria Eagle’s Hayden Wilcox throws the first pitch of the 2018 season against the Parksville Royals on Sunday in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Originally scheduled for the BCPBL opening weekend on April 7th, the Royals were not going to be available then, so a decision was made to move the games to today, as part of the Victoria Eagles 2018 Icebreaker Tournament, that saw the Premier, Junior and Midget AAA Eagles, the Premier and Junior Premier Victoria Mariners, the Premier and Junior Premier Mid-Island Pirates and the Junior Premier Parksville Royals all venture to Lambrick Park for a series of exhibition games on Friday and Saturday and following the Eagles and Royals games on Sunday.

Things looked good for the Eagles in game one Sunday as Liam Haug turns the double-play against Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Things looked good for the Eagles in game one Sunday as Liam Haug turns the double-play against Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In Game 1 action Sunday, the Royals started the season in fine fashion, pounding out 12 hits, including two each from Brodie Comerford and Spencer Walton, en route to a convincing 17-1 mercy-rule shortened win over the Eagles.

Parksville second baseman Kieran Bowles completes the double play against the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville second baseman Kieran Bowles completes the double play against the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Royals would get to Eagles starter Hayden Wilcox for a pair of runs in the second and another four in a four-hit third to get their offence rolling and then added 10 more in a seven-hit sixth to put the game out of reach.

Parksville's Brodie Comerford had a solid game one Sunday with a pair of hits, an RBI and two runs scored in the 17-3 win over the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville’s Brodie Comerford had a solid game one Sunday with a pair of hits, an RBI and two runs scored in the 17-3 win over the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In addition to the four hits combined from Comerford and Walton, the Royals had a four-RBI game from Kieran Carcary and two-RBI games from Thomas Green and Ben Munger.

The Royals Josh Laukkanen was the game one winner Sunday, going 4.2 innings and giving up one Eagles' run on five hits, while walking two and striking out six (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The Royals Josh Laukkanen was the game one winner Sunday, going 4.2 innings and giving up one Eagles’ run on five hits, while walking two and striking out six (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Royals starter Josh Laukkenan would get the first win of the BCPBL season, going 4.2 innings and giving up the one Eagles run on five hits, while walking two and striking out six. Jaxon Ackerman closed out the last 1.1 innings, giving up just a single hit, while walking two and striking out one.

Parksville's Kiran Carcary (44) slides safely into third under the tag of the Eagle's Chad Hegland  (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville’s Kiran Carcary (44) slides safely into third under the tag of the Eagle’s Chad Hegland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Wilcox gets tagged with the loss, for the Eagles, going just 2.1 innings and giving up six Royals runs on four hits, while walking six.  Connor Irvine and Nigel Parsons saw action in relief for the Eagles.

Jayden Cull was one of two Eagles with a hit in each game Sunday, including a double in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Jayden Cull was one of two Eagles with a hit in each game Sunday, including a double in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Offensively for Victoria, their six hits came from six different players, including doubles from Jayden Cull, Mike Musselwhite and Dominic Hambley and singles from Brad Cox, Rei Kimura and Chad Hegland.

Parksville's Connor Hall had a pair of hits in the Royal's 17-3 win over the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville’s Connor Hall had a pair of hits in the Royal’s 17-3 win over the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In Game 2, the Eagles kept things close early, trailing 3-2 after three, but a bases-loaded, three-RBI double from Parksville’s Tim Holyk sparked a four-run Royals fourth, propelling the Royals to a 11-3 win and giving them a sweep of the opening weekend double-header.

Parksville's Thomas Green (24) slides safely into second as Eagles' second baseman Connor Irvine scoops up the throw from home (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville’s Thomas Green (24) slides safely into second as Eagles’ second baseman Connor Irvine scoops up the throw from home (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Also leading the Royals offence in the eight-hit, game two attack was Josh Laukkanen with two doubles, two walks and three runs scored, Connor Hall with two hits and a run scored and Thomas Green with three walks and two runs scored.

Parksville shortstop Thomas Green makes the play against the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville shortstop Thomas Green makes the play against the Eagles on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Brady Radcliffe got the start for the Royals and picked up the win, going four complete innings and giving up three Eagles runs on three hits, while walking three and striking out three.  Shae Verral and Ryan Humphries saw action in relief, holding the Eagles hitless over the final three innings.

Victoria's Brad Cox makes a throw to first during action against Parksville on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Victoria’s Brad Cox makes a throw to first during action against Parksville on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Offensively for the Eagles, Jayden Cull, Mike Musselwhite and Alex Baan-Meikleohn had the three hits, while Takaki Shinozuka walked twice and scored one of the Eagles runs.

The Eagles Dawson Clark slides safely into second base as Parksville shortstop Thomas Green awaits the throw (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The Eagles Dawson Clark slides safely into second base as Parksville shortstop Thomas Green awaits the throw (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Left-hander Leo Jansch started for the Eagles and was tagged with the loss, going 2.2 innings and giving up three runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out five.  Gavin Pringle and Zach Swanson saw action in relief.

The Eagle's Mike Musselwhite had hits in both games Sunday and scored two of the Eagles' total six runs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The Eagle’s Mike Musselwhite had hits in both games Sunday and scored two of the Eagles’ total six runs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Eagles did not help their cause defensively, giving up five unearned runs on a total of five errors for the game.

Victoria catcher Jayden Cull puts the tag on Parksville's Kieran Bowles during an attempted steal of home plate in Game two Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Victoria catcher Jayden Cull puts the tag on Parksville’s Kieran Bowles during an attempted steal of home plate in Game two Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

With the early start, both teams now enjoy a couple of weeks off before their next action, with the Royals taking on the Mid-Island Pirates on Saturday April 14th and the Eagles then battling those same Pirates a day later on April 15th.

Parksville second baseman Kieran Bowles maes the play on a ground ball Sunday against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Parksville second baseman Kieran Bowles makes the play on a ground ball Sunday against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The 2018 BCPBL season continues in earnest on Saturday April 7th as the Coquitlam Reds travel to White Rock to face the Tritons and then on Sunday April 8th, there are two double-headers on tap as the Langley Blaze visit the Whalley Chiefs, the North Shore Twins visit the UBC Thunder.

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