Posted August 8, 2016

The Bantam Royals continued their tremendously successful season by winning the Baseball BC Provincial Championship during the August Long Weekend at Pitt Meadows Athletic Park.

The tournament opened on Friday with a game against the Ladner Red Sox, the team that the Royals had battled all season long for the league title.  The Royals bats came out cold, mustering only one hit while striking out 19 times en route to a 2-0 loss.  Darian Guemos got the start for the Royals and was very strong, going 4 innings allowing no runs on no hits while walking 3 and striking out 5.  In the second game of the day, the Royals faced off against the Prince George Knights, a team they had faced three times in the past two weeks.  In another well-pitched game, Nick Baust held the Knight bats down but the Royals still trailed the game 2-1 heading to the bottom of the 7th.  That is when Nick Stroud stepped to the plate and ended the game with one swing on a walk-off two-run home run.

With their record at 1-1 entering play Saturday, the Royals once again faced Prince George.  Unlike the previous day, the bats dominated this game, as both teams went back-and-forth with numerous lead changes throughout.  The game entered the 7th inning tied 11-11.  With two on and two out, Ryan Doyle ripped a clutch double that scored a pair of runs and ended up being the difference in a 13-11 win.  Stroud and Derek Livesey each hit a pair of home runs to lead the offence.

Entering Sunday, the Royals knew that a win would clinch a spot in the semi-final.  They came out motivated and pounded Abbotsford 15-0 in a four inning mercy.  Ryan Doyle pitched all 4 innings allowing only 1 hit to pick up the win. With the results later in the day, the Royals finished in second spot in Pool B with a 3-1 record, and matched up with Burnaby in the semi-final, while the other match-up had Ladner facing Cowichan Valley.

On Championship Monday, the Royals faced-off against a tough Burnaby team.  In another game dominated by pitching, the teams completed 7 innings with the game tied at 2.  In the top of the 8th, the Royals pushed a run across on a bases-loaded walk.  That was enough as they held on for a 3-2 win and a birth in the final.  After Cowichan Valley defeated Ladner in the other semi-final, the stage was set for the Provincial Final.

The Royals came out flying in the Final, and would not be denied the title.  Darian Guemos dominated on the mound, and the bats, led by Nathan Lusher, were on fire as they mercied Cowichan Valley 10-0 in 5 innings to win the Provincial title.

With the win, the Royals will represent BC at the Western Canada Championships August 12-14 in St. Albert, Alberta.


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