2009 Royals' Season Review
The 2009 season for the Ridge Meadows Midget AAA Royals will go down as quite possibly the most successful in team history. Not only did the club win the Midget AAA League Pennant with a 32-8 record, they also won the Provincial Championship in Victoria before capping off the year with a Western Canadian title in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In addition, the team won the North Shore Can-Am tournament in early July. The team finished with an overall record of 62-17-1, setting club records for wins and games played. On top of their team success, 5 Royals as well as manager Nor Ljunggren were selected to participate in Midget National Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where the team captured a bronze medal.
From the time the team was selected last October at the conclusion of the Fall Ball season, every member of the club worked towards a common goal. The players worked out once a week from November through January, committed to refining their skills and getting an early jump on the season. This committment, even during the winter months, was a key to the season's success.
The unofficial start to the season once again came when the team traveled to the interior (this year to Penticton), to partipate in the Best of the West tournament. The team stormed through the round-robin, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 28-1 before eventually losing in the semi-finals to the Okotoks Dawgs. The club began the regular season a little slowly, amassing a 4-3 record after losing a pair of walk-off losses in Victoria. After that, the club went 28-5 the rest of the way, holding first place from early May right through to the end of the season. During the season, the team also won the North Shore Can-Am tournament in early July, defeating the Coquitlam Jr. Reds 9-1 in the final.
There is no doubt that the strength of this club lay in the fact that they were strong in all areas of the game. Not only did they lead the league in runs scored with 254 (6.35 per game), but also had the league's lowest runs against by almost 40 runs, with 86 (2.15 per game). The team's pitching and defense was consistent all season, while the offence continually put up runs in large numbers.
The offense was led by a number of players. Lead-off hitter Cody Hart, who was named the team's top offensive player, led the club with a .397 average, 154 plate appearances, a .522 slugging percentage, 15 extra-base hits, 44 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases. Hart set the table for the team all season, and was the catalyst for the league's leading offense. First baseman Dan Rennie, the team's MVP, led the club in runs batted in with 32 and was second with a .371 average. Rennie was a vital cog in the line-up all season, driving in key runs and making everyone around him better. Rennie no doubt saved his best for when it counted most, combining to go 17-33 with 19 runs batted in during the Provincials and Westerns (10 games). Patrick Bigelow, the team's catcher and second-place hitter in the order, led the team with a .487 on-base percentage and 23 walks, while Devon Stewart led the club with 3 triples.
Defensively, the club was led by its two catchers, Patrick Bigelow and Nathan Kitamura. Combined the two threw out 22 of 52 runners. These two enabled the Royals' pitchers to not worry about baserunners, and opposing team's running games were almost completely shut down due to the abilities of these two. First baseman Dan Rennie was solid all season at first base, while third baseman Aaron Coppin improved constantly throughout the season, making a number of unbelievable plays during the Provincial Championships.
The club's pitching staff was without question led by Jamie Head, who was likely the best pitcher in the league this season. Head compiled an 8-2 record during the regular season with a miniscule ERA of 0.75. He threw 8 complete games in 11 starts and had 76 strikeouts in 74.33 innings. On top of this, Head pitched a complete game one-hitter at the National Championships against the Tecumseh Thunder from Ontario. However, by no means was Head the only arm that the team had. Chris Lourenco threw 59 innings, going 8-1 with 6 shutouts and a 0.47 ERA. Rookie Cole Ross accumulated a 6-4 record, but in his 49 innings had 5 complete games and a 1.57 ERA while amassing 53 strkeouts. Devon Stewart continued to improve upon a strong rookie campaign in 2008, going 4-0 with 45 innings pitched. He recorded a 1.87 ERA. In addition, Stewart pitched 6.67 innings of shutout ball against the eventual National Champion London Badgers at the Nationals before surrendering a 2-run homerun. Other key contributers to the pitching staff included Brandon Sound (14 innings, 2.00 ERA, 2-0 record), Brett Snowball (11.67 innings, 2.40 ERA, 1-1, 1 save, 12 k's) and Aaron Coppin (1.97 ERA, 2-0, 1 save, 1 shutout).
The 2009 season for the Ridge Meadows Royals will be one to remember for every member of the team. This was a special team, one which had contributions from every player on the roster. Everyone bought in to the team goals and expectations, and as a result the team was able to achieve incredible accomplishments. The club would like to thank all of its graduates; Cody Hart, Jamie Head, Dan Rennie, Aaron Coppin, and Chris Lourenco. We wish them nothing but success and truly hope that they continue to play in some capacity, and they have demonstrated not only a special ability to play the game but a passion for the game of baseball. To all of the returning players, get ready to do it all again next season.
The club would also like to wish a special thank you to coach Mack Whitford. Mack has been a coach with this team in 4 of the last 5 seasons, including the last 3 coaching with Nor Ljunggren. Mack has been an integral part of the Royals' success during this time, and has chosen to step away for next season. We wish him luck in his future endeavours and hope to see him around (which we all know will happen because he can't stay away from the ball field).
ROYALS WIN 2009 WESTERN CANADA CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
The Ridge Meadows Royals capped off what has to be considered the most successful season in club history by capturing their fifth Western Canadian Championship in the last 12 years this past weekend in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The tournament began with a match-up between the Royals (Team BC) and Team Alberta (Okotoks Dawgs). Alberta held a 2-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth but the Royals pushed one across in the bottom half to make it 2-1. Then in the bottom of the sixth centre fielder Lucas Tillotson led off with a double off the left field wall. Left fielder Cody Hart singled through the left side to tie the game at 2-2, and after a walk to catcher Patrick Bigelow and a single by Dan Rennie, pick-up Sheldon Sinnott hit a sacrifice fly to centre to score the eventual winning run in a 3-2 final. Jimmy Barbour, a pick-up from Victoria, pitched five solid innings, while another pick-up, Sammy Verde from Richmond, threw the final two innings and picked up the win. Cody Hart was named player of the game for Team BC.
The second game of the day, which was pushed back to a 9pm first pitch due to rain earlier in the day, pitted the Royals against the host team, the St. James A's. Royal Chris Lourenco took to the hill and struggled a bit early, giving up a three-run home run in the second inning. The Royals clawed back to tie the game after five innings, but the hosts capitalized on a costly error in the sixth and held on for the 5-3 victory. Offensively, the Royals were carried by Sammy Verde (3-3, 2 doubles, 2 stolen bases, 3 runs), and Dan Rennie (2-3, 2 doubles, 3 RBI's) who accounted for all of the team's runs. Verde was named game MVP for the Royals.
On Saturday the Royals knew they had to win both games in order to make it to the final on Sunday, and came out early with a gutsy 4-2 victory over Team Manitoba (Brandon Knights). Devon Stewart started for the Royals, and although he did not have his best stuff, he pitched six strong innings allowing only two unearned runs before turning the game over to Brett Snowball who pitched a scoreless seventh to record the save. First baseman Dan Rennie had another strong game at the plate, going 2-3 with a walk, run, and an RBI. He was named the game's MVP. The final game of the round robin saw the Royals battle Team Saskatchewan (Saskatoon Cubs). Despite the fact that Saskatchewan had already been eliminated, they played a very tough ball game. The Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the third and looked like they might pull off the upset until the top of the sixth, when Rennie and designated hitter Derek Herod led off with singles and eventually scored on hits by left fielder Cole Ross and right fielder Chris Lourenco. Sammy Verde pitched a complete game for the Royals and was named player of the game for the second time.
The final was a rematch of the Royals only loss of the round robin, as they were afforded another shot at the host St. James A's. The Royals sent their staff ace Jamie Head to the mound, coming off his one-hitter at the Nationals a week earlier. While Head by no means was at his best, he allowed only a single run in seven strong innings, striking out nine while allowing only five hits and one walk. The Royals scored a run in the third inning on a lead-off double by second baseman Devon Stewart. Left fielder Patrick Bigelow bunted Stewart to third, and third baseman Cody Hart singled him home. The game remained tight until the fifth, when the Royals loaded the bases for the man who has driven in big runs for the team all season, Dan Rennie. The first baseman hit a 1-0 pitch into the left-centre gap, scoring all three runners and putting the Royals in control. Pick-up Brody Coulter from Victoria, who played solid defence at shortstop all weekend, brought Rennie home to make it a 5-0 game after five complete. The A's managed to push one across in the sixth, but the resilient Royals scored twice more in the top of the seventh, fittingly both off of the bat of Rennie, as his double scored Bigelow and Hart to make it 7-1. Head finished off the A's in the seventh to cap off what was simply put a remarkable season for the Ridge Meadows Royals.
The team was able to stay sharp despite the nearly month-long lay-off between the Provincials and the Westerns, and accepted their four pick-ups with such ease it was as if they had been with the club all season. The players' unselfishness and willingness to accept certain roles made the success of the team possible, and the season would not have been possible without the efforts of each and every team member. A season review will follow in the coming days.
Royals Play Key Role in Bronze for Team BC at Nationals
The five members of the Ridge Meadows Royals who traveled to Fredericton, New Brunswick as part of Team British Columbia at the Midget Nationals all contributed to the team's bronze medal performance. The team opened the round robin with a 9-5 loss to Quebec, but bounced back with a 21-7 route of Nova Scotia. The game was tied 7-7 going to the seventh inning when the team scored a remarkable 14 runs in the inning, led by first baseman Dan Rennie, who had a double and a triple in the inning, and earned game MVP honours.
The third game of the round robin matched BC against the Ontario 2 team. BC sent Royal Jamie Head to the hill, and he completely dominated the Ontario bats, allowing only 3 baserunners and not giving up a hit until the sixth inning on his way to a 5-0 victory and game MVP honours. After clinching second place in Pool A, Team BC had a mean-nothing game against team New Brunswick, and game away with a 9-3 win. The stage was set for the semi-final between Team BC and Ontario, who had breezed to a 4-0 record to win Pool B. The game was a pitcher's duel between the Royal's Devon Stewart and Ontario's Baird Kelly. The game remained scoreless through six innings, with both pitcher's refusing to give the other team any momentum. In the bottom of the seveth, with two out, Stewart allowed a hit to Ontario's lead-off batter, which brought catcher Cam Firth to the plate. He drove the first pitch he saw over the wall in left for the walk-off victory, crushing Team BC's dream of gold. Stewart was awarded game MVP honours for his tremendous performance on the mound. The team rebounded quickly to defeat Saskatchewan 3-2 to win the bronze medal. This was by no means an easy win, as Saskatchewan loaded the bases with no one out in the seventh but were unable to push anything across as BC held on for the win.
In addition to Head and Stewart's remarkable performances on the hill, the other members of the Royals all played integral roles in the team's success. First baseman Dan Rennie started every game at first, and had a hit in four games, including his MVP performance against Nova Scotia. Cody Hart played every inning of every game, and showed his versatility moving from second base to third base and then left field. He recorded hits in four of the team's games which included several key knocks. Catcher Patrick Bigelow started one game at designated hitter and one at catcher. He scored two runs and in addition to playing solid defence, was instrumental as the team's bullpen catcher.
The Royals must now refocus as the returning five players as well as four others from bronze medal winners will join the rest of the squad as they travel to Winnipeg to compete at the Western Canadian Championships this weekend.
Royals Welcome Four Players to Western Canadian Roster
The Ridge Meadows Royals would like to welcome the four players who will be joining them to compete at the Western Canadian Championships in Winnipeg August 20th to 23rd. P/SS Manuel Verde (Rich), P/OF Sheldon Sinnott (Rich), SS Brody Coulter (Vict), and P/OF Jimmy Barbour (Vict) will all be on board to attempt to help the club bring home the gold.
ROYALS WIN 2009 PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
The Ridge Meadows Royals capped off a fantastic season by winning the 2009 Midget AAA Provincial Championships this past weekend in Victoria. The first game of the round-robin saw them matched against the host Victoria Mariners, who had compiled a 3-1 record versus the Royals during the regular season. Devon Stewart took the mound for the Royals and threw 6 innings allowing only one earned run. The club took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning when Chris Lourenco closed out the game, allowing a single run but closing the door on a 3-2 victory. Left fielder Jamie Head had the big blow for the club offensively, hitting a 2-run double to right-centre in the fifth inning.
The second game saw the team face-off with the #8 seed Chilliwack Cougars, a team they went 4-0 against during the regular season and allowed a total of two runs against. The Royals scored three runs early but gave them back as starter Cole Ross struggled with his control. The offence continued to pound away, led by shortstop Cody Hart (3-5, 3 runs scored), catcher Patrick Bigelow (1-2, 3 walks, 3 runs), and designated hitter Devon Stewart (1-2, 3 walks). Brett Snowball came in to relieve Ross and threw 5.1 innings allowing just two hits and picking up the victory in a 12-3 win. Third baseman Aaron Coppin had a tremendous all-around came, making several spectacular plays in the field as well as picking up two hits at the plate.
The third and final game of the round-robin had little impact on the tournament, as the Royals had already clinched first place in Pool A while their opponent, the Cloverdale Spurs, had been eliminated from medal contention. The Royals put up ten runs in the first inning on their way to an 11-5 win to finish off the round-robin portion of the tournament at a perfect 3-0. Brandon Sound pitched a complete game for the win, recording eight strikeouts. Cole Ross had his first triple of the season, while third baseman Derek Herod went 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
On Sunday the Royals met the Richmond Chuckers in the first semi-final. The game was a pitcher's duel between Ridge Meadows ace Jamie Head and the Chucker's Sheldon Sinnott. The Royals pushed a run across in the bottom of the first when first baseman Dan Rennie drove in Patrick Bigelow with a single. In the third, Rennie again drove in Bigelow with a triple to right-centre, then scored on a throwing error. This was all the offence that Head would need, as he dominated the Chucker's bats, limiting them to just four hits while recording eight strikeouts en route to a 3-1 win and a berth in the final. After Vancouver defeated Chilliwack 14-8 in the other semi-final, the stage was set for the #1 and #2 teams during the regular season to meet in the final game of the Provincials.
In the Championship Game, Chris Lourenco took the hill for the Royals against Marc Addison from the Mounties. The Royals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with 4 consecutive hits to start the game. However, some uncharacteristicly poor defence allowed Vancouver to tie the game with runs in the first and second inning. The game remained tied until the fifth, when Cody Hart and Patrick Bigelow both scored runs to make it a 4-2 margin. Derek Herod drove in an insurance run in the sixth and Lourenco closed the door, going the distance and picking up the win that clinched the title for the Royals. Designated hitter Cole Ross had a very solid game in the final, going 3-4 with a run scored. Catcher Patrick Bigelow went 2-4 with 2 runs and an RBI. Lourenco allowed only six hits, including only one after the third inning, and recorded five strikeouts.
Jamie Head was named tournament MVP, not only pitching a brilliant game in the semi-final but also going 3-10 at the plate with 5 RBI. First baseman Dan Rennie also had a tremendous tournament, going 8-15 with two triples, 5 runs scored, and 9 RBI. Shortstop Cody Hart was 5-15 with five walks, seven runs scored and four stolen bases. Catcher Patrick Bigelow played very solid defence in addition to going 4-8 with six walks, two sacrifice bunts, seven runs, two RBI, and two stolen bases. This Provincial Championship would not have been achieved without the efforts of all 14 players. Nathan Kitamura played solid defence at second base and catcher. Outfielder Lucas Tillotson played solid defence and laid down several key sacrifice bunts, while Dylan MacDermid provided speed and defence off the bench. The Royals will now travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the Western Canadian Championships which take place August 20th-23rd. In addition, five of the teams players along with manager Nor Ljunggren will be heading to Fredericton, New Brunswick to represent our province at the National Championships August 13th-16th.
5 Royals Named to Select Team
The Ridge Meadows Royals will be sending a league-high five players to Fredericton, New Brunswick to compete at the Midget National Championships August 13th to 16th. They include pitchers Jamie Head and Devon Stewart, first baseman Dan Rennie, catcher Patrick Bigelow, and second baseman Cody Hart. The players will be joined by their manager Nor Ljunggren, who will be an assistant coach with the squad. Other players named to the team include Sheldon Sinnott (Rich), Manuel Verde (Rich), Michael Chow (Rich), Brody Coulter (Vic), Alex Anthony (Vic), Jim Barbour (Vic), Christian Coccia (Van), Marc Addison (Van), Willy Clark (Van), Sean Fitzgerald (TC), Dustin Houle (SO), Jordan Wolfe (Kam), and Quinn Batz (Chil). The team will be managed by Bo Boxall (Vic) and other coaches include Sean Wandler (Kam) and Serj Sangara (Rich).
Royals Win Regular Season Pennant
The Royals traveled to the Interior of BC this weekend for a 4-game set and after sweeping double-headers from both the Rutland Rockies and the South Okanagan Tigers, the team has clinched the 2009 Midget AAA Regular Season Title with a 32-8 record. On Saturday the club defeated Rutland by scores of 11-0 and 8-4. Chris Lourenco pitched a complete game shutout for the win in the first game while Aaron Coppin and Brett Snowball combined for the win in game two. After having to make a four hour detour traveling from Kelowna to Penticton due to the wildfires that are currently affecting much of the Kelowna area, the team played South Okanagan on Sunday and came away with victories by scores of 7-1 and 6-4. Cole Ross threw a complete game in game one while Devon Stewart and Brandon Sound both pitched in the second game. Stewart also had a tremendous weekend at the dish, going 7-11 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 7 runs scored and 4 RBI. Other key offensive contributions came from first baseman Dan Rennie (9-16, 2 doubles, 8 runs scored, 5 RBI) as well as designated hitter Jamie Head (5-10, 4 RBI).
The league title is the first for the club since the 2005 season, when they went 26-6. This season's team not only led the league in runs against by a considerable margin with 86 or 2.15 per game (Richmond was next with 133 allowed), but also were tops in runs scored with 254 or 6.35 per game (Vancouver was next with 241). With the regular season now complete, the club will now travel to Victoria this week to participate in the Provincial Championships to be held at Royal Athletic Park. The team will play 3 round robin games beginning Thursday afternoon and finishing on Saturday evening. The winner of the 8-team tournament will be crowned on Sunday afternoon. Good luck to all teams.
Royals Bounce Back with Big Win vs. Vancouver
After Saturday's two losses against Cloverdale, the Royals found themselves in a first-place tie with the Vancouver Mounties heading into their match-up on Tuesday night. The club rebounded well with a gutsy 4-2 victory to take a one game lead with 4 games left in the season. Starting pitcher Cole Ross had one of his best outings of the year, allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits while going the distance for the victory. Catcher Nathan Kitamura helped out his hurler throwing out two Mounties who attempted to steal. Offensively, centre fielder Jamie Head went 2-3 with a run and a stolen base, while right fielder Lucas Tillotson went 2-3 with a double. The Royals will play an exhibition game on Wednesday against the Ridge Meadows Junior Men's Royals, which is essentially an alumni game as the majority of the team is comprised of former Midget AAA players. The squad will then head to the interior this weekend to close out the regular season with a pair of games against Rutland on Saturday and South Okanagan on Sunday.
Royals Drop Two to Cloverdale
The Royals picked a very poor time to have their worst day of the season on Saturday, losing both games of a double-header to the Cloverdale Spurs by scores of 3-2 and 4-3. Offensively the team lacked plate discipline, swinging at bad pitches and watching the good ones, while the defence struggled at every spot on the field, unable to make the plays when the team needed them. Jamie Head and Devon Stewart both had quality starts on the hill, but this did not translate into a victory in either game. One bright spot offensively was outfielder Lucas Tillotson, who did well in the second spot in the order, drawing several walks and recording a clutch RBI double in the second game. The Royals need to rebound quickly as they find themselves in a battle for first place with the Vancouver Mounties, whom they will face on Tuesday at 7pm at Albion.
Royals Record Third Shutout vs Chilliwack
The Royals met the Chilliwack Cougars for the fourth and final time Wednesday at Albion, and jumped all over the Cougar pitching en route to a 15-0 mercy victory. This marks the third time this season that the Royals have shut out the Cougars, and is their 12th shutout overall in league play and third straight. Starting pitcher Chris Lourenco threw four no-hit innings before giving up a double to lead off the fifth and being relieved by Aaron Coppin who struck out the side to preserve the shutout. Offensively, Shortstop Devon Stewart was 2-3 with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored, while RF/1B Cole Ross was 3-3 with 4 RBI. This weekend the Royals will host the Cloverdale Spurs for a double-header at Albion, with the first pitch going at noon.
ROYALS WIN NORTH SHORE CAN-AM TOURNAMENT!
The Royals capped off a stellar weekend of baseball by winning the Annual North Shore Junior Twins Can-Am Invitational Tournament on Sunday. The team went 3-0 during round robin play with victories over Coquitlam Jr. Reds, Coquitlam Sr. A's, and the North Shore Jr. Twins. On Sunday the team met the Fraser Valley Jr. Chiefs in the semi-final in what turned out to be a very well pitched game. The teams traded runs in the middle innings and after seven innings the game was tied 1-1. In the bottom of the 8th the Royals loaded the bases with one out and the winning run scored on a throwing error by the Chiefs' catcher to send the Royals to the final. The championship game was a re-match from earlier in the tournament with the Coquitlam Jr. Reds, who had defeated the Langley Jr. Blaze in the other semi-final earlier in the day. The game remained scoreless through four innings until the Royals finally got to the Reds' starter for 5 runs in the 5th before blowing it open and eventually winning by a final score of 9-1. Shortstop Cody Hart had an exceptional tournament at the plate, going 10-18 with 2 doubles, a triple, 9 runs scored, and 6 runs batted in. First baseman Dan Rennie went 8-17 with 2 doubles, a triple and 9 runs batted in. Other offensive highlights included outfielder Lucas Tillotson scoring 6 runs and recording 2 sacrifice bunts and Brandon Sound going 5-15. On the hill, both Jamie Head and Cole Ross recorded a pair of wins, with Devon Stewart getting the other. Brett Snowball pitched 8 solid innings throughout the course of the tournament. WIth three weeks left in the season, the stretch drive now begins for the team, as they return to league play this week with their eyes on capturing the clubs first regular season title since 2005. This week the team will host Chilliwack on Wednesday at 7pm as well as Cloverdale on Saturday, with the first game starting at noon. All games will be at Albion Sports Complex.
Royals Sweep Season Series with Kamloops, Tri-City
The Ridge Meadows Royals extended their league-best record to 26-6 with a pair of wins over the Kamloops Riverdogs on Saturday as well as a victory over the Tri-City Indians on Tuesday. Last season the Riverdogs went 4-0 against the Royals en route to winning the regular season title. This season the Royals returned the favour, capping off the season series with wins of 13-2 and 8-0 in Kamloops. In the first game starting pitcher Devon Stewart allowed only 2 unearned runs over 5 innings and the Royals' bats put up double-digits in runs for the third time against the Riverdogs, resulting in a 5-inning mercy win. Shortstop Cody Hart was 2-2 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, an RBI and 4 runs scored. First baseman Dan Rennie drove in 3 runs and had a triple, while designated hitter Derek Herod had 2 hits and 2 RBI's. The second game was much closer, but starting pitcher Jamie Head held the Riverdogs at bay, and the Royals blew open the game in the seventh with 4 runs to make it an 8-0 final. Hart went 2-5 with 2 more doubles, 2 RBI's and scored a pair of runs. Left fielder Brett Snowball was 2-3 with a walk and scored 2 run. Tuesday was a much different story, but starting pitcher Chris Lourenco battled through some tough situations to throw a complete game shutout in the 1-0 victory. The only run of the game was scored in the bottom of the first when third baseman Herod drove in Hart from second base with a single to left field. The Royals now take a break from league play as they will participate in the North Shore Junior Twins Annual Can-Am Classic for the third consecutive year. They will resume league play next Wednesday, July 8th at 7pm at Albion with their final meeting of the season with the Chilliwack Cougars.
With Wins Over Tri-City and Chilliwack, Royals get Coaches 100th Victory
With a pair of wins this week over the Tri-City Indians and the Chilliwack Cougars, the Ridge Meadows Royals not only improved their league-best record to 23-6 but also earned coaches Nor Ljunggren and Mack Whitford their 100th victory since taking over the club prior to the 2007 season. On Tuesday the club hosted the Indians with Devon Stewart on the hill. The Royals held a 3-0 lead until Tri-City chipped away with a pair in the 4th inning. The Royals came right back with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning and added another in the 5th to win by a 6-2 final. Shortstop Cody Hart reached base 3 times for the Royals, while Stewart went the distance giving up only one hit. On Thursday the squad traveled to Chilliwack to take on the Cougars. Chris Lourenco threw 5.1 innings before turning it over to Jamie Head who recorded the save in a tough 3-2 victory. The Royals held a 3-0 victory but Chilliwack battled back with a pair in the 6th and had the tying run in scoring position with one out but were unable to push another run across. Hart was 3-4 with 3 stolen bases, 2 runs scored, and an RBI while left fielder Brett Snowball was reached base twice and scored the winning run. The Royals now enjoy a much deserved weekend off while 5 members of the club along with manager Nor Ljunggren will travel to Richmond to take part in the All-Star Game. The next game action for the team will be Wednesday night as they host the second-place Vancouver Mounties with the first pitch going at 7pm at Albion.
Royals Sending 5 to Midget AAA All-Star Game
The Ridge Meadows Royals will be sending a league-high 5 players to this season's All-Star Game to be held at LaTrace Field in Richmond this Saturday, June 20th at 1pm. The players are SS/2B Cody Hart, P/CF Jamie Head, 1B Dan Rennie, C/LF Patrick Bigelow, and P/SS Devon Stewart. Congratulations to all 5 for their hard work this season. The All-Star Game not only celebrates the league's talent but is also used as an evaluation for the Midget Select Team that will travel to Fredericton, New Brunswick in August for the National Championships.
Royals Split With Victoria
The Royals hosted the Victoria Mariners for a pair of games on Sunday at Albion which marked the final meetings of the season between the clubs. The Royals carried a 20.1 scoreless inning streak into the game, which came to an end very quickly as the Mariners scored 4 runs in the second inning off of 2 Royal errors. That made the difference in the game, as the teams exchanged runs the rest of the way and the game finished 5-1. The second game was much tighter, with the Royals scoring a pair early on and carried a 3-0 lead into the 5th before the Mariners chipped away and found themselves down 3-1 with men on 2nd and 3rd and no one out in the 7th. But Royals' pitcher Jamie Head only allowed one of the runners to score, finishing another complete game and another Royals' victory. Right fielder Lucas Tillotson had a strong day at the dishWith the win, the Royals have now beaten every team in the league. This week the Royals host the Tri-City Indians Tuesday and travel to Chilliwack Thursday before the league shuts down for the weekend to hold the Midget AAA All-Star Game on Saturday, June 20th in Richmond.
Royals Blank Tri-City and Chilliwack
The Ridge Meadows Royals recorded their 8th and 9th shutouts of the season this week in defeating the Tri-City Indians and Chilliwack Cougars by scores of 15-0 and 3-0. On Tuesday the squad traveled to Port Moody to take on the Indians. The Royals put up 2 runs in the top of the first and another in the 3rd before blowing it open in the 5th and 6th. Jamie Head threw his second straight complete game shutout, allowing just 4 hits while striking out 6. The offence came from all parts of the batting order, as every player in the starting line-up recorded at least one hit and scored a run. Shortstop Cody Hart was 3-4 and scored 4 runs while second baseman Devon Stewart drove in 4 runs. On Thursday the Royals hosted the Chilliwack Cougars at Albion, and sent Chris Lourenco to the hill. Lourenco scattered 3 hits in recording his 3rd shutout of the season in the 3-0 victory. Hart and Head both had strong games at the dish with a pair of doubles each, with Head picking up an RBI. Next up for the Royals is a Sunday meeting with the Victoria Mariners, the only club in the league they have yet to defeat this season. First pitch goes at 11am at the Albion Sports Complex.
Royals Win 2 Despite Quiet Bats
This week the Ridge Meadows Royals played a pair of mid-week games against the Chilliwack Cougars and the Abbotsford Cardinals and despite only mustering 8 total hits were able to come out on top of both games behind solid pitching and defence. On Wednesday the club traveled to Chilliwack to take on the Cougars for the first time this season. The team held a 1-0 lead until the 6th when the Royals' bats combined with some good baserunning and Cougar miscues led to 6 runs and a 7-0 victory. Jamie Head threw a brilliant complete game, scattering 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 12 in going the distance. Thursday the Royals hosted Abbotsford for the fourth and final meeting of the season between the teams. The Cardinals pulled down 2 pitchers from the Premier Cardinals, but the Royals managed to scratch out 5 hits and scored runs in the 4th and 6th to come away with a 2-1 victory. Jamie Head had 2 hits, while pitcher Chris Lourenco threw a complete game allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks while fanning 8. The Royals now have a bit of a layoff from league play, as this weekend they will travel to Coquitlam for a pair of exhibition games against the Coquitlam A's, which will mark the final meetings of the season with Jim and his boys. Next week the Royals will get back at it with 4 league games.
Royals Split 4 Games Over Weekend, Remain in First
The Ridge Meadows Royals played four tough baseball games on the weekend against two strong clubs, coming away with a 2-2 record while maintaining their hold on first place in the Midget AAA league with a 16-5 record. On Saturday the club traveled to Vancouver to take on the second place Mounties. The first game of the day was a pitcher's duel between the Mounties' Andrew Beechinor and the Royals' Cole '5-er' Ross. The Royals stranded 8 runners and struck out 12 times in a 2-1 loss. Ross (6IP, 1 ER, 8 k's, 4 hits) had a solid outing, while catcher Nathan Kitamura (2-3, RBI) led the offence. In the second game, pitcher Jamie Head (6IP, 0 ER, 5 k's, 4 hits) held the Mounties bats in check and the Royals broke the game open in the 7th with 4 runs to win by a final of 5-2. LF/3B Derek Herod (2-4, run, 2 RBI) helped pace the offensive charge. Sunday the Royals hosted the Richmond Chuckers for a pair of games at Albion. Pitcher Chris Lourenco (7IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 6 k's) dominated the Chuckers in the first game, helping the club to a 1-0 victory. Kitamura and Devon Stewart both reached base 3 times with Stewart driving in the games' only run. In the final game of the weekend the Royals had a 6-1 lead after 3 innings but fell flat after that, allowing 8 unanswered runs in a 9-6 final. Prior to allowing the 9 runs, the Royals' previous season-high was 6. Shortstop Cody Hart (2-4, 2B, run), Designated Hitter Herod (2-4, 2 runs, RBI), Centre Fielder Head (1-2, 2B, 2BB, RBI) and call-up Catcher Dylan MacDermid (2-3, 2B, BB, RBI) all had solid games at the dish. OF Lucas Tillotson had quality at-bats all weekend and was solid in the field. This week the Royals have a pair of weekday games; traveling to Chilliwack on Wednesday before hosting Abbotsford on Thursday for their final match-up of the season with the Cardinals. First pitch for both games goes at 7pm.
Midget AAA Select Team Coaching Staff Named
BC Minor Baseball has named the coaching staff which will lead the Select Team to the Midget National Championships held in Fredericton, New Brunswick August 13th to 16th. The team will be led by Bo Boxall (Victoria Premier Mariners) who is the former head coach of the Midget AAA Mariners. The assistants will be Sean Wandler (Kamloops Riverdogs) and Nor Ljunggren (Ridge Meadows Royals). This team will be made up of players from the Midget AAA league. An All-Star Game will be held on June 20th at LaTrace Field in Richmond to help the selection process.
Royals Have Perfect Weekend Recording 4 Wins
This weekend the Royals compiled a perfect 4-0 record and extended their winning streak to 10 games as they hosted the Rutland Rockies and South Okanagan Tigers in league play at the Albion Sports Complex in Maple Ridge. Saturday saw the Royals record two 5 inning mercy victories over Rutland, winning by scores of 15-5 and 15-0. Aaron Coppin pitched a complete game in the back half of the double-header for his first league victory of the season. 1B Dan Rennie went 3-5 on the day with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. 3B/DH Derek Herod was 2-4 with 2 walks and 4 RBI. Sunday brought a tougher challenge in the form of South Okanagan, but the Royals still managed to come away with two wins by scores of 4-0 and 5-1. Chris Lourenco and Jamie Head both had outstanding complete game performances, with neither allowing an earned run. The offence was led by SS Cody Hart (3-6, run) and Herod (4-5, BB, 3 RBI). The team is currently in first place in the league with a record of 14-3. Next up in league play for the Royals will be another 4-game set next weekend. Saturday they will travel to Vancouver to take on the Mounties, and Sunday they will host the Richmond Chuckers.
Royals in First Place
The Ridge Meadows Royals have moved into first place in the BC Midget AAA League after their sixth consecutive win on Wednesday against the Abbotsford Cardinals. The win pushes the team's record to 10-3 in the 40-game season. Wednesday's 8-5 victory was far from the team's best effort of the season, but they got timely hitting and were able to push enough runs across to win. Starter Cole Ross pitched 6 innings while battling his control but did enough to pick up the win. Devon Stewart pitched the 7th for his first save of the season. Cody Hart led the offence, going 4-4 with a walk and 3 runs scored and finishing a home run away from the cycle. This weekend the Royals host two interior teams, facing Rutland on Saturday and South Okanagan on Sunday. First pitches go at 1pm and 11am respectively.
Royals Defeat First Place Vancouver Mounties
The Ridge Meadows Royals continued their hot play on Tuesday night, defeating the first place Vancouver Mounties by a score of 11-3 to extend their league winning streak to five. The game remained close until the bottom of the 5th inning, when the Royals' bats exploded for 6 runs to put the game away. First Baseman Dan Rennie led the offensive charge, going 3-4 with 4 RBI. Jamie Head pitched 6 strong innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) while striking out 10. Brandon Sound pitched the 7th in relief. The squad now has a 7 day rest from league play before resuming next Wednesday against the Abbotsford Cardinals. In the meantime the team will play a pair of exhibition games against the Coquitlam A's, with the first going this Saturday at Albion.
Royals' Bats Alive and Well in Sweep of Kamloops
The Ridge Meadows Royals got production from all 9 spots in the batting order Sunday, helping them reach double-figures in both games of a double-header sweep of the Kamloops Riverdogs. The first game saw rookie Cole "5er" Ross take to the mound and throw a complete game shutout which was aided by some strong defence. The second game remained scoreless until the 4th inning when the Royals' bats once again came to life and helped starter Devon Stewart to the victory. Jamie Head, Derek Herod, and Cody Hart all had strong days at the dish, but it was a complete team effort on this day that was the key to victory. This week the Royals have a showdown with the first place Vancouver Mounties on Tuesday with the first pitch going at 7pm at Albion.
Royals Lose in Semi-Final of Coquitlam Woodbat Classic
For the second time in as many tournaments this season, the Ridge Meadows Royals lost in the semi-final round, this time at the Coquitlam Big League Wood Bat Classic held at Blue Mountain Park over the weekend. The team compiled a 2-2 record in the round robin, good enough for 2nd place in the 5 team pool. They garnered victories over the Langley Rangers (8-0) and the Coquitlam Senior A's (8-1) while losing to both the Whalley Big League Chiefs (6-1) and the Coquitlam Big League A's (9-5). Sunday night the team faced Whalley once again in a rematch of their earlier game, but once again Whalley's bats helped pace them to a 7-2 and a birth in the final. All-in-all it was a good learning experience for the boys, and the chance to face older competition will no doubt help in the improvement of the club.
Royals Sweep Home-and-Home with Abbotsford
This week the Ridge Meadows Royals played a home-and-home series with the Abbotsford Cardinals on Tuesday and Thursday. The first game, played on Tuesday at Abbotsford's Delair Park, saw the Royals struggle a bit with their bats, but still managed to come out with a 6-3 victory. Patrick Bigelow and Brett Snowball both had 2 hits, while Aaron Coppin scored 3 runs. Brandon Sound pitched 5 innings for the win, with Snowball throwing the final two to collect the save. Thursday marked the Royals 2009 regular season home-opener, and the club did not disappoint, scoring 7 runs and getting a complete game shutout from Cole Ross enroute to a 7-0 victory in a game which was shortened to 6 innings due to light failure. Ross allowed only 3 hits while striking out 7. Dan Rennie collected 3 hits, including his first triple of the season, and had 4 RBI, while Devon Stewart had 2 hits and scored twice. This weekend the Royals will be particpating in the Coquitlam Big League Wood Bat Classic, with all games being played at Blue Mountain Park.
Royals Lose Two in Walk-Off Fashion in Victoria
The Royals traveled to Vancouver Island on Sunday for an early season showdown for first place in the BC Midget AAA League. Unfortunately, the team was on the short end of two highly-contested games, both of which Victoria won on walk off hits, the first in the bottom of the 7th and the second in the bottom of the 8th. Jamie Head pitched the first game for the team, recording 6 shutout innings before running into trouble in the 7th and eventually losing 3-2. In the second game, Devon Stewart threw 5 plus innings before being relieved by Cole Ross. Dan Rennie had a solid day both at the plate and in the field, driving in 4 of the teams 7 runs on the day, and making several key plays in the field. The upcoming week will be a very busy one for the club. They first will complete a home-and-home series with the Abbotsford Cardinals on Tuesday and Thursday, before entering the Coquitlam Big League Tournament which takes place from Friday to Monday.
Royals Win 3 of 4 on Weekend, Improve Record to 4-1
The Royals played 4 road games this past weekend, splitting a pair with the Cloverdale Spurs on Saturday before sweeping a double header from the Richmond Chuckers on Sunday. Saturday saw the squad trail mid-way through the first game before a 3-run 6th inning allowed the team to come-back for the victory. First Baseman Dan Rennie led the offence going 4-4 with 2 RBI, while Brett Snowball pitched 3 solid innings in relief of Brandon Sound to pick up the win. The second game saw the Royals struggle mightily with the bats, recording a mere 5 hits and scoring their only run on an error, as they dropped the game 2-1 in 8 innings. Chris Lourenco pitched 7 outstanding innings, allowing only 2 hits and one unearned run but was not rewarded for his performance. Sunday the Royals bats came alive, scoring 6 runs in the 1st inning en route to a 12-2 victory which was called after 5 innings due to the mercy rule. Jamie Head pitched all 5 innings for the win, while the offence came from all parts of the batting order. Brett Snowball recorded 3 RBI and the bottom third of the order scored 5 of the teams runs. The second game of the day was much closer, with pitcher Devon Stewart throwing a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 victory. Derek Herod drove in the only run of the game on a ground-out. Next up for the Royals is an exhibition game on Wednesday against the Coquitlam A's at 7pm at Albion, before they travel to Victoria next Sunday to take on the Mariners.
Royals Win Season Opener in Extra Innings
Tuesday night the Royals traveled to Port Moody to take on rival Tri-City in their regular season opener. An 8 day lay-off between games clearly affected the Royals' bats, as they struck out 14 times and left 15 men on base but still managed to be tied 3-3 after 7 innings. The game remained tied until the top of the 9th, when the Royals pushed 2 runs across to take the lead and win by a final of 5-3. Devon Stewart pitched the final 2 innings for the win, while Jamie Head started for the club and threw 7 strong innings giving up 2 earned runs. Cody Hart (4-5, 2B, 2 RBI) and Patrick Bigelow (2-3, 3 BB) once again led the offence, which struggled at times but managed to do just enough to get the win. Next up for the Royals is a four-game weekend, which sees them travel to Cloverdale for a pair on Saturday before heading out to Richmond for a double-header on Sunday.
Royals Lose in Semi-Final at 'Best of the West'
In what has to be deemed a successful weekend, the Ridge Meadows Royals outscored their opponents 31-7 en route to a 3-1 record in their first tournament of the season, losing their only game in the semi-final by a score of 6-3 to the Okotoks Dawgs. In the round robin, the Royals employed the eight-run mercy rule in all three games, winning by scores of 9-0, 9-1, and 10-0. Solid pitching performances were turned in by Jamie Head (7 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs), Cole Ross (4 IP, 1 ER), Chris Lourenco (5 IP, 0 runs) and Devon Stewart (6.1 IP, 2 ER). Cody Hart led the offensive charge, going 6 for 15 with 6 runs scored. Derek Herod also had a strong tournament at the plate, going 7 for 13. Catcher Partrick Bigelow also went 4 for 12 with 5 walks and scored 6 runs. After compiling a 9-2 pre-season record, the Royals now begin league play, with the opener taking place this Wednesday at 7pm at Chilliwack.
Royals Enjoy Successful Preseason
The Ridge Meadows Midget AAA Royals have started the 2009 season with a 6-1 exhibition record, including outscoring their opponents 44-15 and recording a no-hitter in the process. This season's team, which includes 6 first-year players, has shown a great deal of promise in all aspects of the game, in particular on the defensive side of the ball. The pitching, led by Jamie Head and Devon Stewart, appears on the verge of a solid season, while the team defence, anchored by middle-infielder Cody Hart, third baseman Aaron Coppin and catcher Patrick Bigelow, looks much more confident and refined than in previous seasons. The team will have its last preseason tune up this weekend, as it travels to Penticton to take part in the annual 'Best of the West' tournament. The team will then open the 2009 regular season next Wednesday in Chilliwack at 7pm.