Bantam Royals Win Valley of Champions Tournament
Posted July 18, 2016
The Bantam Royals won their first tournament of the year this past weekend in Rutland, capturing the Valley of Champions title in Rutland.
The Royals opened the tournament on Friday with a pair of games against two strong opponents. In the early game, the team took on the Prince Geore Knights and came away with an 8-2 win. Darian Guemos started on the mound and did not allow an earned run in three innings. At the plate, Nick Baust went 1-2 with a 2-run single. In the evening game, the Royals held a late lead against COMBA - Blue (Kelowna) but were unable to hold on as they lost on a walk-off grand slam by a score of 9-7. Baust (3IP, 4H, 5K) and Dylan Cragg (3.2IP 0H 5K) were both solid on the mound, while Nathan Lusher chipped in with a 2-run single.
On Saturday the Royals took on Spruce Grove knowing that they needed a win to control their own destiny. The bats came out hot as they mercied the Alberta team 12-0 in 6 innings. Ryan Doyle was phenominal on the hill, throwing a one-hit shutout. The one hit was on a play where Owen McCuaig made a diving catch that was ruled a hit by the umpire who wasn't watching the play. In the final round robin game, the Royals again faced Spruce Grove, knowing that a win would secure 1st place in Pool A. The bats again came out swinging with a similar result, as they again mercied Spruce Grove, this time by a score of 12-2. Nick Stroud, who just four days earlier suffered a broken nose on a play in centre field, dominated the game on both sides of the ball. On the mound he threw a complete game allowing only two hits while striking out seven, while at the plate he was 3-4 with a double and three runs batted in.
On Sunday the Royals took on the other Kelowna-based team, COMBA - Red. In a sloppy game, the boys did what they had to do in order to secure a 10-5 win and a trip to the finals. Guemos led the offensive charge, going 4-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two runs driven in. Baust stole three bases and scored two runs, while Brody Clark pitched a solid three innings while striking out a pair.
In the final the Royals again matched up with Prince George. Baust started on the hill and went the distance, allowing only five hits while striking out five en route to a 9-3 victory and the tournament win. Doyle had a solid game at the plate, going 2-2 with a triple, two walks, and a run batted in. Kai Gjaltema was 2-4 with three runs driven in.
The Royals will hope to use the momentum gained as they will be participating in Provincial Championship tournmanents during the next two weekends. This week they will be in Burnaby to take part in the BC Minor Provincials beginning Friday, while the following week they will play host to the Baseball BC Provincials at Pitt Meadows Athletic Park.