End of an Era: Manager Nor Ljunggren Steps Down
After 5 very successful seasons at the helm of the Ridge Meadows Royals' Midget AAA Program, head coach Nor Ljunggren has decided to step down to pursue other opportunities. "At this point, I just feel like I need to do something different. Having been with the Ridge Meadows Midget AAA team since 2005, I need a new challenge in my coaching career. I have not ruled out that at some point in the future I may return to the program, but at this point I need a change," Ljunggren said. "I want to thank all the players, parents, and especially my assistant coaches over the past 5 years who have made my time with this club so enjoyable."
In his 5 seasons as the head coach, the Royals compiled an overall record of 221-123-3. This included a league record of 143-57 and 15-7 in Provincial Championships. During Ljunggren's time with the team, they won two regular season titles (2009, 2011), one Provincial Championship (2009), and one Western Canada Championships (2009). In addition, they captured two tournament titles; the North Shore Can-Am (2009) and the Best of the West Midget Classic (2011). During this time, 13 members of the Royals have been selected to the Midget Select team which participates in the Midget National Championships.
The Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association has not yet made any annoucement in regards to naming a replacement for the team, but this website will post that information once it is available.
Sound Picked up for Westerns
Congratulations to Royals' P/3B Brandon Sound, who has been picked up by the Provincial Champion Kamloops Riverdogs to take part in the Western Canadian Championships in Victoria August 25th-28th.
3 Royals Named to Midget Select Team
The Ridge Meadows Royals would like to congratulate three of their players who were selected to represent British Columbia at the Midget National Championships in Regina, Saskatchewan taking place August 18th - 22nd. P/3B Brandon Sound, DH Cole Ross, and SS/2B Alex Miyahara were all chosen by the coaching staff of Team BC to take part in this elite tournament. Good luck to the boys.
Royals Fall in Provincial Semi-Final
After compiling a perfect 3-0 record in round robin play, which included one of the most impressive comebacks in club history, the Ridge Meadows Royals found themselves playing on Sunday for the 3rd consecutive year at the Provincial Championships. However, for the first time in that span, they failed to reach the final as they lost a tight, well-played game to the eventual champions the Kamloops Riverdogs.
In the first game of the tournament, the Royals matched up against a team they went 4-0 against during the regular season, the Richmond Chuckers. Brandon Sound took the mound for the Royals and was very solid in throwing a complete game, allowing no earned runs. However, some shaky defence gave the Chuckers several leads throughout the game, and the Royals found themselves down 4-3 heading to the bottom of the 6th. However, the first seven men reached to start that inning, and by the time the third out was recorded Ridge Meadows held a 10-4 lead and would go on to win by that score. Sound was named game MVP, as he went 1-2, 2 BB's, RBI, in addition to throwing 7 innings allowing only 5 hits. Eric Blower (2-4, run), Dylan MacDermid (2-2, 2B, BB, run, RBI) and Joey Tack (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) also had solid games.
On Friday the Royals met the Mid-Island Mustangs, a team they had also gone 4-0 against during the regular season. The game started off poorly for the club, as they allowed a run in the first inning and two more in the third before the Mustangs scored three in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. The Mustangs added a pair in the top of the seventh to take what looked like an insurmountable 8-2 lead to the bottom of the seventh. However, as they have done all season long, the Royals showed tremendous heart and grit as 10 of the 12 men to bat in the bottom of the seventh reached base, including a walk-off, bases loaded single by Kevin Bork to finish off the most remarkable comeback in team history. Cole Ross had three hits, including two in the huge seventh inning, while Bork (2-5, RBI, run, SB) and Dylan MacDermid (0-1, 2 HBP, BB, RBI, run) also had big games.
Having already clinched a spot in Sunday's semi-final prior to their final round robin game against the Victoria Mariners, the Royals still had the chance to knock out the defending champions with a win. Drew Rendall started for the Royals, making his first mound appearance in exactly three months after battling arm trouble, gutted out three innings allowing only one run. The Mariners scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-5 lead. However, the Royals came right back with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning, and Kevin Bork came in and shut the door the rest of the way, allowing only two base-runners in his three innings of work. At the dish, Lucas Tillotson (2-4, 2 runs, SB), Cole Ross (2-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, run, SB), and Bork (2-3, 2B, run, RBI) all chipped in with good games.
With a 3-0 round robin and first place in Pool A secured, the Royals entered Sunday just two wins away from their second title in three seasons. The club was matched up against a very solid Kamloops Riverdogs team. Brandon Sound took the ball for the Royals for the second time in the tournament, and was matched up against the Riverdog's Mike Gilfillan. The Royals struck first on an RBI hit-by-pitch by Alex Miyahara. However, the Riverdogs took advantage of two Royal errors in the fifth to score three runs. This was all the scoring as the Royals could only muster four hits en route to a 3-1 loss. After throwing 107 pitches on Thursday in a complete game win, Sound showed tremendous heart in throwing another complete game allowing only six hits and deserved a much better fate in his final game as a Royal. The Riverdogs would go on to defeat the Vancouver Mounties 11-10 in one of the most exciting finals in recent memory.
Although the Royals season came to a very abrupt end, this does not diminish the accomplishments of the team. Their 37-5 regular season record was the best in team history, and many individual players had remarkable seasons. In addition, the team won the Best of the West tournament in April and won the Regular Season title for the second time in three seasons. A season review will be posted in the coming days.
Royals Crowned 2011 Regular Season Champs
For the 2nd time in 3 seasons, the Ridge Meadows Royals have won the Midget AAA regular season title as they swept both the Mid-Island Mustangs and Victoria Mariners on the weekend to finish with a record of 37-5, the best in club history.
On Saturday the club sent Nathan Kitamura to the mound in game one and he was engaged in a pitcher's dual with the Mustangs' Dewar. Mid-Island scored an unearned run in the 2nd but Ridge came right back with a pair in the 3rd on a Cole Ross 2-out 2-run single. That was all the scoring as Kitamura went the distance on a 5-hitter. The second game of the day was not as close, as the Royals scored two in the 1st and five in the 2nd to take an early lead that they would not relinquish as they went on to win by a final of 9-4. Brandon Sound picked up the win throwing four shutout innings before giving way to Dylan MacDermid who threw the final three in relief. Sound (1-1, 2 BB's, RBI, run) and MacDermid (3-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs, SB) also paced the offence.
Sunday saw the Royals sweep their final two games of the season from a strong Victoria Mariners club, which brought their home record to an incredible 21-1, the only blemish being an April loss to Chilliwack. The first game saw Keanen Buckley throw 6 strong innings allowing only one earned run on one hit. Alex Miyahara finished up the game in the 7th to help preserve a 5-3 win. Offensively, Miyahara (0-1, 3 BB's, run, RBI), Kevin Bork (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, run), and Eric Blower (1-3, RBI, run) led the way. The final game of the regular season had lefty Cole Johnson get the start and put forth one of his best outings of the season, pitching in to the 7th before allowing an earned run, eventually giving way to Joey Tack who completed a 7-5 Royals win. Tack (2-3, 2 runs, RBI, SB), Tarin Richardson (2-3, RBI, run), and Ross (1-3, 2B, BB, RBI) all contributed to the win with solid games at the plate. The Royals will enter the Provincial Championships as the number one seed which will start Thursday in Kamloops.
The Royals will open the Provincial Championships on Thursday against the Richmond Chuckers at 3pm. They will then face the Mid-Island Mustangs on Friday at 9am before concluding the round robin portion of the tournament on Saturday night with a 6pm first pitch against the Victoria Mariners. For a complete tournament draw please see the 'Provincial' tab on the left hand side of the page.
Record Winning Streak Comes to an End vs. Indians
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Thursday night in Port Moody, two long winning streak for the Ridge Meadows Royals came to an end as they lost for the first time in 25 games in league play, and also lost for the first time to the Tri-City Indians in 13 games dating back to 2008 as the Tribe knocked off the Royals by a score of 9-7. The game was overshadowed by a terribly inconsistent strike zone by the home plate umpire and a base umpire who apparently thought he had been brought down from the MLB and wouldn't even discuss a call with either coaching staff despite the fact he blew several obvious calls on the bases. However, the calls were bad for both teams and the Indians deserve full credit for defeating the Royals and halting their 24 game winning streak.
Tri-City opened the scoring in the 1st inning with a single run and held the lead until the Royals put up 4 in the top of the 3rd. Royals' starter Cole Johnson held the Tribe in check through the first 3 innings until things fell apart in the 4th as he and reliever Joey Tack allowed 6 runs, a deficit that the Royals were unable to overcome. Entering the 7th the Royals were down 9-4 and despite scoring 3 times and having the tying run at 2nd with one out, they were unable to complete the comeback and fell by a score of 9-7. The middle of the Royals' order did most of the damage on this night, as Cole Ross (2-4, 2 runs), Brandon Sound (2-4, 2 runs), Kevin Bork (2-4, 2 runs, RBI), and Eric Blower (2-3, BB, 2 RBI) all had good games at the dish.
Royals' coach Dan Rennie was ejected by the base umpire in the 3rd inning after questioning him on an out call at 2nd base on a steal attempt by Lucas Tillotson. Then after the 6th inning, during a discussion between both umpires and the remaining Ridge coaches, the base umpire pushed Royals' coach Doug MacDermid in the chest. This caused manager Nor Ljunggren to get in the face of the ump, who immediately ejected Ljunggren, knowing that he had made a mistake by putting his hands on a coach. It became quite clear that this man was not going to admit his mistakes and let his ego do the talking as he established himself as the centre of the game. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise exciting game that saw two good teams battle it out. The Royals will now wrap up the regular season with a pair of double-headers at home against the Mid-Island Mustangs on Saturday and the Victoria Mariners on Sunday.
Streak Reaches 24 as Royals Complete Season Sweep of Spurs
On Tuesday night the Royals met the Cloverdale Spurs for the 4th and final time this season. Keanen Buckley started for the Royals and after surrendering two runs in the 1st inning, he settled now and didn't allow another in his six innings. The Royals took the lead in the 3rd inning and added another in the 4th and two more in the 6th to win by a final of 6-2. After hitting a booming double and a homerun against the Spurs on Sunday, Cloverdale wanted no part of Royals' designated hitter Cole Ross, who was walked four times (two intentional) and did not see a single strike in four plate appearances. Eric Blower (2-3, BB), Tarin Richardson (2-4), and Lucas Tillotson (1-4, run, RBI) all had solid days at the plate in the win. Defensively the game was highlighted by two tremendous plays. In the bottom of the 5th with the score 4-2, the Spurs attemped a squeeze, but Buckley fielded the ball and with his glove flipped it to catcher Nathan Kitamura to record the out at home. Then with two outs, the bases loaded, and a full count in the 7th, pitcher Alex Miyahara stepped off the rubber and picked off the Cloverdale runner at 2nd, who had started towards 3rd, to record the final out of the game. The Royals will play their final road game of the season on Thursday as they travel to Port Moody to take on the Tri-City Indians. They will then wrap up the season with a pair of double-headers against the two teams from Vancouver Island.
Royals Win Postponed Game vs. Cloverdale
The Royals extended their record winning streak to 23 games on Sunday as they completed a game postponed from June 25th in Cloverdale, winning by a score of 9-1. The game resumed with the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 3rd as Nathan Kitamura worked out of a tough spot and went on to pitch the final 5 innings and pick up the win. Cole Ross hit a 3-run double to cap a 5-run 5th inning, and added a solo home run in the 7th to finish the scoring. Lucas Tillotson went 2-3 with an RBI, while Jordan Wolfe had a pair of hits and Dylan MacDermid scored a pair of runs and drove in one. The Royals will start the last week of the regular season with their 4th and final meeting of the season with the Spurs. They will then travel to Tri-City before hosting the Island teams (Mid-Island and Victoria) for a pair of double-headers next weekend.
Royals Drop Raiders, Streak Now at 22
On Wednesday night the Royals hosted the White Rock Raiders for the 4th and final meeting of the season between the two teams. White Rock jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off of Royals' starter Cole Johnson. However, the Royals took the lead back in the bottom of the 2nd innings when centre-fielder Lucas Tillotson hit a 3-run double to right-centre field. Cole Ross added a solo home run in the 5th to make it 5-1, and the team added 4 more insurance runs in the 6th to make the final 9-1. Tillotson finished with a pair of hits and 4 RBI's, while Tarin Richardson (1-2, HBP, run) and Jordan Wolfe (1-3, RBI, 2 runs) chipped in with the bats. The current win streak of 22 games now spans exactly half of the team's regular season schedule. The team has not lost a regular season game in over 2 months. The Royals will now prepare for a showdown on Saturday with the 2nd place Vancouver Mounties before traveling to Cloverdale Sunday to finish a postponed game from last month.
After 4-0 Weekend, Royals Win Streak at 21
This weekend the Ridge Meadows Royals squared off against two tough teams from the Interior as they faced the South Okanagan Tigers and the Kamloops Riverdogs. On Saturday the club sent Keanen Buckley to the hill against the Tigers' ace Ryo Ito. The Royals got to Ito early, putting up 3 runs in the first 2 innings en route to a solid 8-1 win. Buckley went the distance allowing only 4 hits. At the plate, Lucas Tillotson (2-5, 2 RBI), Brandon Sound (3-4, 2 2B's, RBI, run), Cole Ross (1-3, solo HR), and Cole Johnson (2-4, RBI, run, SB) all contributed to the win. The second game of the day started out very poorly for the Royals, as some defensive miscues and inconsistent pitching lead to a 6-0 deficit after only an inning and a half. However, the Royals showed their tenacity as they clawed back scoring multiple runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th to overcome the deficit and win by a final of 9-8. Cole Johnson picked up the win throwing 6 innings of relief, while Ross (2-4, 2 runs), Sound (2-4, 2B, run), Kevin Bork (2-3, 2B, 2 runs) and Jordan Wolfe (3-4) all had solid games at the dish.
Sunday saw the Royals match up against the 4th place Kamloops Riverdogs at Albion. The first game was a solid pitching match-up with the Dogs sending Spencer Lord to the hill while the Royals countered with Brandon Sound. This was a close game throughout as the Riverdogs held several leads with the Royals fighting back to tie. With Kamloops leading 4-2 in the bottom of the 5th, Cole Ross hit a grand slam to left-centre field to put the Royals ahead for good, as they would add an insurance run to win by a final of 7-4. Nathan Kitamura pitched the final 2 innings to pick up the save. At the plate, Dylan MacDermid (2-2, 2B, BB, run), Kitamura (1-2, BB, run, RBI) and Sound (2-3) all chipped in to help secure the victory. With their win streak now at 20 games, which included wins over every team in the league, the Royals looked to have a perfect weekend in the back half of the double-header. Kitamura started on the mound and threw 5 solid innings and left the game in the 6th with a 4-1 lead. Alex Miyahara, in his first mound appearance in league play since April, threw two very effective innings to pick up the save in a 4-3 Royals win. Tillotson (1-2, BB, RBI, run, 2 SB's) and Sound (1-1, sac fly, 2 RBI's) finished off solid weekends at the plate with strong games. With their club record win streak now at 21 games, the Royals will play host to the White Rock Raiders on Wednesday night before they travel to Vancouver on Saturday to take on the 2nd place Vancouver Mounties.
With 'Sound' Win Over Tribe, Royals Win 17th Straight
Brandon Sound had a tremendous game both on the mound and at the plate on Wednesday night as the Royals recorded their 3rd win in as many tries this season against the Tri-City Indians, this one by a score of 7-0. Sound threw a complete game, striking out 5 and allowing only 3 hits, the same number that he himself recorded at the dish. He went 3-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Jordan Wolfe also chipped in offensively, driving in 2 runs with a single in the 3rd inning. The Royals, now 26-4 on the season, will host both Interior teams this weekend, battling the South Okanagan Tigers on Saturday before taking on the Kamloops Riverdogs Sunday.
Royals 5th at Kamloops Canada Day Tourney
The Ridge Meadows Royals had an up-and-down weekend in Kamloops and ended up placing 5th in the 10 team Daley & Sons Can-Am Tournament this past weekend. The Royals split games on both Friday and Saturday to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 2-2 record, good enough for 3rd in the five team pool. The tournament started off with a game against the Mid-Island Mustangs, and saw the Royals come out very flat and as a result were down 6-0 after 4 innings. The Royals avoided the shut-out by pushing two across in the 7th but still came out on the losing end of a 6-2 score. The Royals rebounded with a solid 11-4 win over the Sherwood Park A's on Friday night to end the first day with a 1-1 record.
Saturday saw the team face the Spruce Grove Sox and their starting pitcher who managed to hold the Royals bats in check with one of the best fastballs the team has seen this season. The Royals eventually got to him for a couple of runs but it was too little too late as they lost 8-2. The final game of the round robin matched the Royals against the Red Deer Braves under the lights at beautfiul Norbrock Stadium. Cole Johnson started for the Royals and pitched 6 solid innings before running in to trouble in the 7th when Eric Blower, who saw his first mound action of the year this weekend, came on for the save.
On Sunday they faced off with the Edmonton Cardinals in the 5th/6th game. The Royals jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and looked to be well on their way to victory when the Cards came back with 5 runs in the 4th and added another in the 5th to take a 7-6 lead. In the 6th, Lucas Tillotson hit a booming 2-run double to give the Royals the lead and then scored the insurance run on a Keanen Buckley single to help preserve a 9-7 win. The boys deserve credit for battling through some injuries and putting forth a strong effort to finish out the tournament. In particular, Dylan MacDermid catching the final two games after being used sparingly at the position this season, and Eric Blower, who made three appearances on the mound after not pitching since last season and allowing not allowing an earned run in 6.2 innings. The team now gets a couple of days off before returning to league play this Wednesday against Tri-City before hosting the Interior teams, South Okanagan and Kamloops, this weekend at Albion.
Royals Have 3-0 Weekend, Extend Win Streak to 16
This weekend the Ridge Meadows Royals continued their successful regular season with 3 victories while the 4th game was suspended due to rain. On Saturday the club traveled to Cloverdale to take on the Spurs. The first game saw Keanen Buckley take the mound and while he did not have his best stuff, he managed to hold the Spurs to an unearned run over 6.2 innings. The Royals started the scoring in the 1st and held the lead until the Spurs tied it at 1-1 in the 4th. In the top of the 6th, the Royals blew the game open with 5 runs which included RBI singles by Dylan MacDermid, Cole Ross, and Brandon Sound. Lucas Tillotson made two tremendous diving catches in centre field to highlight the defence for the Royals. Sound took the mound in the second game of the day which was suspended due to inclement weather in the bottom of the 3rd with the score tied 1-1. The game will be completed on Sunday July 17th. On Sunday the Royals hosted the Mid-Valley Spurs at Albion. Nathan Kitamura threw a complete game for the Royals striking out a season-high 9 batters while allowing 3 runs on 6 hits. Sound led the offensive charge, going 2-2 with a double, walk, hit by pitch, an RBI and a stolen base. Others who contributed with the bat included Alex Miyahara (1-2, 2 BB's, run, RBI, SB) and Keanen Buckley (1-3, BB, run, RBI). In the second game, Cole Johnson made his first league start since May 28th and pitched a complete game for the victory in a 7-2 Royals win. Johnson scattered 6 hits including only one in the final three innings to pick up the win. Cole Ross had a pair of hits to go with a pair of RBI's, while Miyahara went 2-2 with a double, two RBI's and a run and Buckley added a pair of singles. The Royals now will enjoy a break from league play as they will travel to Kamloops on Friday to take part in the Riverdogs Can-Am Tournament next weekend.
Royals Win Pitcher's Duel, Down Tribe
On Tuesday night the Royals hosted their 'Pitt-River Rival' the Tri-City Indians. The game turned out to be a pitcher's duel between the Royals' Brandon Sound and the Indians' Zach Baird. The Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on an RBI ground out be Kevin Bork and a pair of errors by the Indian infield. Sound held the Indians scoreless until the 6th when a pair of singles cut the lead in half but Sound shut the door from there to secure a 2-1 win, the 13th straight victory for the club. The run scored Tri-City was the first that the Royals had surrendered to the Indians in league play since June 16th, 2009. That includes 6 consecutive shutouts and an incredibled 50 innings without allowing a run. The Royals will now prepare for a busy 4 game weekend which will see them travel to Cloverdale on Saturday for a pair of games before returning home Sunday to battle Mid-Valley in a twin-bill.
Royals Down Spurs, Win 12th Straight
On Father's Day the Royals hosted the Cloverdale Spurs for their first meeting of the season. The Royals jumped out to an early lead scoring 4 runs in the first inning and adding a pair in each of the next two innings en route to a 9-4. With the victory, the club has now won 12 consecutive league games and has now beaten every team in the league this season. Nathan Kitamura started for the Royals, and although he did not have his best stuff, he battled to a complete game win allowing 2 earned runs while striking out 5. Cole Ross had a great day at the plate, going 3-4 including his 3rd home run of the season. He also added 3 RBI and 3 runs. Brandon Sound (3-4, 2B) and Eric Blower (2-2, HBP, run) also had strong games offensively. This week the Royals will host the Tri-City Indians on Tuesday before traveling to Cloverdale for a pair of games on Saturday. They will then return home for their final meeting of the season with the Mid-Valley Saints, a double-header which gets underway at noon.
Royals Win 20th of Season After Long Lay-off
Playing their first league game in 16 days thanks to graduation and exams, the Royals improved their first place record to 20-4 with a 9-2 win over the Mid-Valley Saints in Abbotsford on Thursday night. Keanen Buckley took the mound and was sharp, needing only 76 pitches en route to a complete game win. He allowed only 2 unearned runs on 6 hits to collect his 5th victory of the season. The Royals scored a run in the 1st before exploding for 5 in the 5th and tacking on 3 more in the 7th. Lucas Tillotson (3-5, run, RBI, SB), Nathan Kitamura (0-2, 3 BB's, run, 2 SB's), and Cole Ross (1-3, 2 BB's, run, SB) all had solid games at the dish. This weekend the annual Midget AAA All-Star game will be taking place in Richmond on Saturday, with several Royals taking part. On Sunday the team will host the Cloverdale Spurs for the first meeting of the season between the teams. First pitch goes at noon at Albion.
Royals Sink Raiders, Extend Win Streak to 10
On Tuesday night the Royals hosted the White Rock Raiders at Albion. The Royals jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning, and after a rain delay halted play for about 15 minutes after the first inning, the Royals cruised to a 9-1 win behind a complete game effort by Nathan Kitamura. The team scored in every inning but one, led by Cole Ross (1-2, 2B, 2 BB's, 2 runs), Kevin Bork (1-2, 2B, BB, RBI, run, 2 SB's), and Lucas Tillotson (1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, run, SB). The club will now enjoy a much-deserved week-long break from league play before they host the Tri-City Indians at Albion next Tuesday night. First pitch goes at 7pm.
Royals in First Place after Sweep of Mounties
The Royals capped off a perfect 4-0 weekend by defeating the Vancouver Mounties twice on Sunday to move in to first place in the Midget AAA League at the mid-way point in the season. The Royals improved to 18-4 on the season, and stretched their winning streak to 9 games after arguably their best weekend of the season.
Sunday's first game saw Keanen Buckley take the hill for the Royals against the Mounties' Brendan Lim. The game was scoreless until the Royals pushed a run across in the 4th and then three more in the 5th to help secure a 5-0 win. Buckley allowed only 4 hits in throwing 4th complete game of the season. Offensively, Cole Ross (1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 runs), Kevin Bork (2-4, 2B, run, RBI, SB), and Nathan Kitamura (1-1, 2 BB's, sac bunt, RBI) all had key contributions. In the second game of the day, Joey Tack started for the home team and pitched 5 solid innings allowing only a solo home run in the first that hit the top of the wall in left-centre field. Cole Ross tied the game in the 3rd inning with a solo home run of his own, and the Royals scored two more in the 5th to come out on top by a final of 3-1. Cole Johnson came in to relieve Tack and pitched the final two innings to record the save. The Royals will host the White Rock Raiders on Tuesday at Albion with the first pitch set for 7pm.
Royals Sweep Chuckers in Richmond
On Saturday the Royals traveled to Richmond to finish up their marathon 14 game road trip against the Chuckers, who were just two games behind the Royals for 2nd place in the Midget AAA League. Cole Johnson took the hill to start the first game, and gave the Royals' a solid 2.1 innings before turning it over to Nathan Kitamura. The two combined to allow only two unearned runs en route to a 5-2 win. Lucas Tillotson (2-3, 3B, run), Cole Ross (2-4), Keegan Head (0-1, 3 BB's, run), and Cole Johnson (2-3, run, RBI) all had good games at the dish. Richmond threatened in the 6th with two men in scoring position but shortstop Alex Miyahara made a tremendous diving catch up the middle and doubled up the runner at 2nd to end the threat and help preserve the win. In the second game, Brandon Sound threw 6 solid innings allowing only two unearned runs but found himself behind 2-1 going to the 7th. The Royals tied the game on a bases-loaded walk to Miyahara. The game went into extra innings and it wasn't until the 10th that the Royals' pushed four runs across to secure a 6-2 victory. Kitamura and Johnson both had key hits to help the rally. Joey Tack threw 4 shutout innings to pick up the win in relief. Johnson again had a great game at the plate, going 3-5 with a pair of doubles, 2 RBI and a run scored. Eric Blower (1-2, 2 BB's, HBP, run), Sound (2-5, run), Dylan MacDermid (2 sac bunts), and Kitamura (1-3, 2 BB's, RBI, 2 runs) all had productive games offensively. Behind the plate, Eric Blower had a tremendous day, catching all 17 innings and throwing out 4 runners on the bases. The Royals will have little time to rest as they return home on Sunday for a first place showdown with the Vancouver Mounties. First pitch goes at noon at Albion.
Royals Defeat Mid-Valley Saints
In their first meeting of the season with the newly named Mid-Valley Saints (formerly the Abbotsford Angels), the Royals showed some fatigue after playing 6 games in 4 days but still came away with a 3-0 win. Brandon Sound threw a 3-hit shutout while Cole Ross led the offence, going 2-3 with a double and a run scored. The Royals now have a few days off before traveling to Richmond on Saturday and hosting Vancouver on Sunday.
Royals Lose in Semi-Final of Kelowna Tourney
This past weekend the Royals traveled to Kelowna to take part in the Okanagan College May Long Weekend Tournament. Due to the tournament format, the first 3 games had very little meaning as all 6 teams qualified for the quarter-final. As a result, the Royals sent 3 players to the mound who had not started a game all season. In the first game, Lucas Tillotson made his first mound appearance in his 3 year career against the Victoria Jr. Eagles. Tillotson battled through 4 innings en route to a 7-2 loss. At the plate, Eric Blower (3-3, run) and Dylan MacDermid (2-3, 2 2B's, RBI) had solid games. In the second game of the day, the Royals came out flat behind Alex Miyahara and were defeated by the Richmond Chuckers in a 6-inning mercy by a score of 14-2. Kevin Bork (2-3) and Brandon Sound (2-3, 2B, run) both had good games with the stick.
On Sunday the Royals went up against the Tri-City Indians in the final game of the round robin. Dylan MacDermid took the mound and in the first start of his 3 years with the Royals, threw a 3-hit shutout in the 1-0 win. The Royals' bats were quiet in this one, as the only run scored on a suicide squeeze by Eric Blower that scored Brandon Sound. Miyahara had a pair of hits. In the quarter final game. the Royals matched up against the Nanaimo Jr. Pirates. Nathan Kitamura threw a complete game giving up 3 runs on the way to a 5-3 win. Jordan Wolfe (3-4) paced the offence which pounded out 10 hits in the win. On Monday the Royals once again faced the Tri-City Indians in the semi-final with the winner moving on to face Richmond in the final. Keanen Buckley started for the Royals and was not helped by his defence as 3 errors in hte 3rd led to 4 Indians runs which propelled them to a 5-2 win. The Royals will get right back at it this week as they continue their marathon road trip as they travel to Abbotsford on Tueday before heading out to Richmond on Saturday. On Sunday the boys will FINALLY play at home, hosting the first-place Vancouver Mounties at Albion after a record 14 straight on the road.
Royals Move to 13-4 with Win in the Wack
On Wednesday the Ridge Meadows Royals played their 11th consecutive road game and came away with a 5-1 win in Chilliwack in the 4th and final meeting between the teams this season. Brandon Sound threw his second straight complete game for the win, allowing only a single run on 5 hits while also going 2-3 at the plate with a triple and a run scored. Shortstop Alex Miyahara had a pair of RBI's and a run scored to help in the win. The Royals will now travel to Kelowna this weekend to take part in the Okanagan Baseball May Long Weekend Tournament. The boys will then travel to Abbotsford on Tuesday for their first meeting of the season with the Mid-Valley Saints.
Royals Go 3-1 on Trip to Vancouver Island
This past weekend the Ridge Meadows Royals traveled to Vancouver Island for a pair of double-headers, a place where they have always had a difficult time winning ball games. On Saturday the Royals took on the Victoria Mariners in a re-match from last season's Provincial Final. The first game of the day was not indicative of two of the province's top teams, as the Royals jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the top of the 1st inning only to surrender 9 runs to the Mariners over their first two turns at bat. The see-saw battle continued as tied the game twice more before the Mariners pulled away for a 14-11 win. Several Royals has very good games at the plate, led by shortstop Alex Miyahara who reached base all 5 times with a double and 4 walks. Catcher Eric Blower reached base 4 times while designated hitter Cole Ross was 2-4 with a double and a pair of RBI's.
The second game of the day was much more reflective of Royals' baseball, as starter Brandon Sound went the distance allowing 3 runs on 6 hits en route to a 10-3. Miyahara had another great game at the dish, walking 4 times and hitting a sacrifice fly. Jordan Wolfe and call-up Keegan Head both recorded a pair of hits and an RBI.
On Sunday the boys were in Ladysmith to face the Mid-Island Mustangs. After raining the previous night, the rain continued to fall throughout both games, however the Mustangs parents and coaches did a fantastic job of preparing the field which allowed the games to take place. The first game was a pitcher's duel between the Royals' Keanen Buckley and the Mustangs' Read. After the Mustangs opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd, Royals' centre-fielder Lucas Tillotson hit an RBI triple in the 3rd and then scored on a throwing error to give the Royals a 2-1 lead. Tillotson then drove in an insurance run on a ground-out in the 5th to help give the team a 3-1 win. The game featured a total of 6 hits and was well-played on both sides.
In the 4th game of the weekend for both teams, the Royals came out on a mission, scoring 4 runs in the top of the first and not looking back as they backed starter Nathan Kitamura to a 14-3 victory. Miyahara, Ross, Sound, and left-fielder Cole Johnson each had a pair of hits as the squad used a balanced attack to secure the victory. Battling numerous injuries and with several players playing hurt, the Royals continued to show their determination as they perservered through another difficult weekend and came out with 3 more wins to push their league record to 12-4. This week the Royals will travel to Chilliwack on Wednesday for their 4th and final meeting with the Cougars before they head to Kelowna next weekend to partake in the Okanagan Baseball May Long Weekend Tournament.
Royals Lose to Cougars, Umpire
Playing their 6th road game in 5 days, fatigue looked like it finally caught up with the Ridge Meadows Royals on Wednesday as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chilliwack Cougars after allowing a pair of unearned runs and only mustering 4 hits. Not helping the Royals' cause was a clear 'home team' strike zone that made it clear the umpire should not have been asked to do a game at this level of ball. In the 5th inning, fed up with the strike zone and ego of the umpire, manager Nor Ljunggren was ejected for arguing. It is unfortunate when an umpire has such an impact on a game, but they are an essential part of the game and occasionally this is something that teams have to deal with. The Royals now enjoy a week-long break from league play before hosting the Cloverdale Spurs next Wednesday which is a make-up game from a rain-out in April. First pitch goes at 7pm.
Royals Blank Tribe 7-0
In a game that was much closer than the final score, the Ridge Meadows Royals knocked off the Tri-City Indians on Tuesday night in Port Moody. Keanen Buckley started for the Royals and allowed only 4 hits en route to his first complete game shutout of the season. The Royals scored a pair of runs in the 5th before plating 5 in the 7th to blow the game open. Brandon Sound led the offence with 3 hits and 3 RBI, while Lucas Tillotson, Cole Ross, Kevin Bork, and Nathan Kitamura all recorded 2 hits. The club will play their 6th game in 5 days on Wednesday as they travel deep into the Fraser Valley to play the Chilliwack Cougars.
Royals Go 3-1 on Trip to Interior
This past weekend the Ridge Meadows Royals traveled to the Interior of BC for what is annually one of the toughest weekends of the season. The boys swept a double-header from the South Okanagan Tigers on Saturday in Penticton before splitting a pair of games with the Kamloops Riverdogs on Sunday.
In the first game of the weekend, Keanen Buckley took the hill and allowed only 2 hits and an unearned run in a 5 inning 16-1 mercy victory. Offensively, several Royals had huge games at the plate. Cole Ross hit his first home run of the season and added a 2-run double which contributed to a 6 RBI game. Brandon Sound went 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Nathan Kitamura and Alex Miyahara both reached base 4 times. In the second game, rookie Drew Rendall made the start and pitched 3 shutout innings which included 5 strikeouts. However, shoulder stiffness forced him out of the game as Joey Tack and Alex Miyahara came in to preserve an 11-5 win. Lead-off hitter Lucas Tillotson was 3-5 with 3 stolen bases, while Brandon Sound went 3-5 with a pair of runs scored. Dylan MacDermid was 2-2 with 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and 3 RBI.
On Sunday the Royals matched up against the Kamloops Riverdogs at Canada Games Field. Nathan Kitamura took the bump in the first game for his first start of the season, coming off a very strong 2010 season in which he posted an ERA under 1.00. Kitamura needed only 84 pitches and allowed only 4 hits on his way to a 9-0 victory. Ross, Buckley, and catcher Eric Blower all had multi-hit games while Miyahara reached base 4 times and Sound had 3 RBI. In the fourth game of the weekend the Royals seemed to have hit a wall as they blew leads of 4-1 and 6-4 en route to a 10-6 loss. Sound started on the mound and struggled through 3+ innings before Cole Johnson came on in relief. Ross went 2-3 at the dish with a double and a triple, 2 runs and an RBI, while Kevin Bork was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. MacDermid had another solid game with 3 hits from the 9 spot in the order. After a tough weekend the Royals get no rest, as they continue their marathon 5-week road trip as they travel to Tri-City on Tuesday and Chilliwack on Wednesday.
Royals Winning Streak Snapped
On Sunday, in the second game of a double-header, the Ridge Meadows Royals lost for the first time ever to a Chilliwack team under manager Nor Ljunggren. The loss snapped a 14 game win streak against Chilliwack for Ljunggren, and also brought to an end the Royals' 13 game winning streak and handed them their first loss of the regular season. In the first game, Keanen Buckley took the hill for his first start of the season. Despite allowing at least one runner in every inning, Buckley pitched in to the 5th inning without allowing a run. Cole Johnson came in from the bullpen and picked up the win. The Royals scored 3 runs in the 3rd but allowed Chilliwack to tie the game in the 6th. However, the Royals' offence exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th to secure a 9-3 win. Several Royals had strong games at the plate; Alex Miyahara was 2-3 with an RBI and 2 runs, Cole Ross was 2-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs, Brandon Sound went 2-3 with 2 RBI, and Kevin Bork was 2-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and 2 stolen bases. In the second game, the Royals came out flat behind starting pitcher Sound, who threw his second complete game of the regular season. The team left runners on base in every inning but one, and the defence made several mistakes and allowed the Cougars to score 3 in the 3rd and another in the 4th. The Royals had the tying run on base in both the 6th and 7th but were unable to push them across as they lost by a score of 4-2. Bork had another strong game at the dish, going 3-4 with a stolen base and a run scored. The Royals now hit the road for a 5-week road-trip, starting this week with a game at Tri-City on Tuesday before traveling to the Interior this weekend with a pair of double-headers against South Okanagan and Kamloops.
Royals Defeat Raiders in South Surrey
On Tuesday the Royals traveled to White Rock for the second and final time this season to face the league's newest team, the White Rock Raiders. Unlike last week's 21-0 victory, this game was a much more tightly-contested affair. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd inning when the Raiders took advantage of some poor defence and control problems by Royals' starter Drew Rendall to jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Royals came right back to tie it in the 4th and scored in every inning the rest of the way en route to an 11-5 win. Joey Tack came in to relieve Rendall and picked up the win. Cole Ross was 2-5 with a pair of RBI's while Alex Miyahara reached base four times. This weekend the Royals' will host the Chilliwack Cougars for a pair of games on Saturday at Albion with the first pitch set for noon.
Royals Sweep Home Opener with Pair of Shutouts
On Saturday the Royals hosted the Richmond Chuckers for their 2011 regular season home opener. Cole Ross took the hill in the first game and needed only 79 pitches to throw a complete game shutout. The Royals bats were quiet most of the game, but third baseman Brandon Sound hit the Royals first home run in 3 years in the 2nd inning to provide the only scoring of the game. Sound took the hill in the second game and picked up right where Ross left off in the first game, needing only 57 pitches to shut out out the Chuckers. The Royals scored a run in the 1st inning and added an insurance run in the 6th to win by a final score of 2-0. This week the Royals will travel to White Rock Tuesday and will then host the Chilliwack Cougars on Saturday for a double-header. First pitch on Saturday goes at noon.
Royals Open Regular Season with 21-0 Win
After Sunday's double-header was rained out, the Ridge Meadows Royals opened their 2011 regular season with a 21-0 crushing of Midget AAA's newest team, the White Rock Tritons. The Royals batted around twice in the first inning, putting up 15 runs before all was said and done. Cole Ross started the game, but was only asked to throw one inning as the game was well in hand before the Royals even took the field defensively. Rookie Cole Johnson came in and threw well in his two innings, while Keanen Buckley threw the 4th and final inning as White Rock called the game after four innings. Offensively, the Royals were led by lead-off hitter and centre-fielder Lucas Tillotson, who was 4-5 with a pair of doubles, 3 runs scored and a pair of RBI's. Dylan MacDermid also had a solid game, going 2-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. The Royals will now have their home opener on Thursday when they host the Cloverdale Spurs. First pitch goes at 7pm.
Royals Win 2011 Best of the West Tournament
After losing in the semi-finals each of the past two seasons, the Royals were finally able to break through and win the 'Best of the West' Midget Tournament in Penticton this past weekend. The boys went a perfect 5-0 en route to the title, outscoring their opponents by a total of 44-17.
The Royals got things started on Friday with a pair of victories over the Cloverdale Spurs and Okotoks Jr. Dawgs. In the first game, Drew Rendall took the mound and battled for 4 and a third innings and left the game with a 6-5 lead. Keanen Buckley came on in relief and the Spurs were able to plate another run in the 6th to tie the game at 6. However, the Royals offence exploded for 8 runs in the top of the 7th and the game ended with a final score of 14-7. Third baseman Jordan Wolfe had a pair of doubles and drove in 3 runs to pace the offence. In the second game, starter Brandon Sound worked 5 shutout innings while the bats scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning to lead to a 8-0 mercy after 5 innings. Cole Ross had a pair of singles and drove in 2 runs.
On Saturday the team played their final round robin game against the Okanagan Jr. A's in a game that meant very little as both teams had already secured a spot in the semi-finals. Kevin Bork and Alex Miyahara each threw 3 effective innings while Joey Tack came in to pitch a scoreless 7th to help the team to an 8-5 win. Ross and Miyahara each had a pair of hits while Tack and Bork both scored a pair of runs.
In the semi-final the Royals faced the Richmond Chuckers and sent Cole Ross to the hill. Ross was perfect through 5 innings until running in to some trouble in the 6th. Cole Johnson came in to relieve Ross and got the final 4 outs to preserve a 5-2 victory and a berth in the final. Brandon Sound drove in a pair of runs in the win while Miyahara and Ross each scored twice.
The tournament final saw the Royals face their old rivals the Tri-City Indians. The Royals sent Sound to the hill and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single by Keanen Buckley in the top of the 1st. An error in the bottom of the 1st allowed the Indians to tie it up, but the Royals came right back with 4 in the 2nd capped off by a 2-run double by Sound to make it 5-1. The Indians fought back to make it 6-3 after 5 innings, but the Royals would not be denied as they put up 3 more in the top of the 7th to win by a score of 9-3. Sound pitched a complete game for the win allowing only 6 hits while striking out 5. Dylan MacDermid had a solid game with a pair of hits, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. Catcher Eric Blower had a tremendous tournament behind the dish, catching 4 games and playing great defence all weekend long. With their first tournament of the season now under their belts, the Royals will now prepare for their regular season opener next Sunday, April 10th when they will host the Vancouver Mounties at Albion. First pitch goes at noon.
Royals 2011 Season Preview
As another spring is upon us, so too is another Royals' season. This year the Royals will be trying to reach the Provincial Championship Final for a third consecutive season. The team is returning 7 players from last season's club, including 6 starters. This core group, along with the 7 new players, brings a great deal of optimism that the club can once again compete for the title.
The core of the 2011 pitching staff will be led by the same trio of players that did so in 2010. Cole Ross once again leads the staff and will look to build upon his 2010 season which displayed his talents as arguably the best pitcher in the Midget AAA league. Brandon Sound, the team's innings leader from 2010, will return for his third season with the club and will look to build upon a strong 2010 campaign. Nathan Kitamura will return as a solid strike-thrower who baffles teams with his ability to mix his pitches. In addition to these 3, newcomers Drew Rendall, Cole Johnson, Keanen Buckley, Joey Tack, and Kevin Bork will all see work both out of the bullpen as well as in spot starts. This year's staff will look to continue the trend of the Royals' pitching being one of their strengths.
The infield will be anchored by a number of returning players. Grade 11 Alex Miyahara earned the starting shortstop position mid-way through last season and has established himself as a consistent defensive player as well as an on-base machine. Third base will be manned by Brandon Sound, who will also bat in the middle of the order and be looked to to drive in key runs. Super-utility player Dylan MacDermid and Jordan Wolfe will also see time at the hot corner. Second base will have a collection of players see time, including Kevin Bork, Dylan MacDermid, and Joey Tack. All 3 bring speed to the lineup and can each occupy several positions both in the batting order and in the field. First base will likely be split between Cole Ross and Keanen Buckley, with the other likely seeing time in the outfield or at designated hitter. Ross established himself as one of the best hitters and run-producers in the league in 2010, while Buckley hits for good contact and shows good instincts at the plate and in the field.
For the first time since 2007, the team will not have catcher Patrick Bigelow on the roster. Instead he has now joined the coaching staff and will look to pass on his extensive knowledge to this season's catching core. This group will be led by returning catcher Nathan Kitamura, who not only brings great defence and pitch-calling but also led the team in on-base percentage in 2010. Grade 11 Eric Blower, who has greatly improved his defence, will see increased playing time behind the dish, while Grade 10 Tarin Richardson will get his first taste of Midget baseball.
The outfield will once again be led by centre fielder and lead-off hitter Lucas Tillotson, who brings blazing speed and great baseball instincts to the team. Dylan MacDermid will likely start in left field, bringing daring baserunning and all-out effort to the team. Right field will be shared by a number of players, with Drew Rendall, Cole Johnson, Keanen Buckley, and Jordan Wolfe all likely seeing time.
The 2011 coaching staff is comprised of manager Nor Ljunggren, assistant head coach Dan Rennie, bench coach Doug 'Howie' MacDermid, assistant coach Spencer Stewart, and assistant coach Patrick Bigelow. The 2011 edition of the Royals will be fast, aggressive, and fun to watch.
2011 Midget AAA Schedule Released
After several drafts, the 2011 Midget AAA league schedule has been released. The Royals will open the season on Sunday April 10th will a double-header at home against the Vancouver Mounties. One of the highlights includes a team record 15 straight games on the road, as the team will not play a home game from April 24th to May 30th. The club will travel to the Interior on April 30th and May 1st, and to the Island on May 14th and 15th. The 44 game schedule marks the first time since 2007 that the team will play more than 40 league games.
The Royals have secured spots in three tournaments thus far for 2011. For the 4th consecutive year, the team will take part in the 'Best of the West' pre-season tournament in Penticton during the first weekend in April. On the May long-weekend, the team will travel to Kelowna to participate in the 'OC Baseball Invitational'. During the July Long Weekend, the team will travel to Kamloops to take part in the 'Riverdogs Canada Day Tournament' for the second straight season.
2010 Season in Review
The 2010 edition of the Royals began with high expectations, coming off a Provincial and Western Canada Championship in 2009. The squad returned 7 players from the Championship team, with high hopes of repeating. The Royals finished in 3rd place in the regular season with a record of 29-11. The team's overall record including tournaments and exhibition games 41-29-1. Despite the fact that the 2010 team fell a win short of another Provincial Championship, the season cannot be viewed as anything but a success that saw many individual and team highlights along the way.On top of this team success, 3 Royals along with manager Nor Ljunggren were selected to travel to London, Ontario as members of Team BC at the National Championships. Pitcher Cole Ross, outfielder Lucas Tillotson, and outfielder/catcher Patrick Bigelow (who finished second on the team with a .409 batting average) all played key roles in Team BC going 4-0 in the round robin and finishing in 4th place.
The unofficial start to the 2010 season again took place when the team traveled to Penticton to take part in the 'Best of the West' tournament. The team went 2-1 in the round robin but lost in the semi-final to the eventual winner, the South Okanagan Tigers. After starting the regular season somewhat slowly, compiling a record of 7-6 after the first month, the team went 22-5 the rest of the way to once again enter the Provincials as one of the favourites. The team entered two in-season tournaments, traveling to Puyallup, Washington in May and Kamloops in July.
In much the same way that the club was strong in all facets of the game in 2009, the team's success in 2010 can greatly be attributed to the fact that they excelled in all aspects. The team finished third in the league in runs scored with 225 (5.63) and second in runs against with 109 (2.73). While the team's pitching was consistent and at times dominant, the offence maintained a high-level of production throughout the balance of the schedule.
The offence of the team was paced by several players, most notably Cole Ross, who led the team with a .378 batting average, 45 hits, 10 doubles, and 42 RBI's. Catcher/outfielder Patrick Bigelow, the team captain, amassed a .309 average, .427 on-base percentage with 21 RBI's and 22 runs scored. Catcher/pitcher Nathan Kitamura led the team with a .460 on-base percentage, while centre fielder Lucas Tillotson led the team with 159 plate appearances, 35 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases (in 25 attempts). Other key contributors were shortstop Alex Miyahara (team-leading 38 walks, .430 on-base %, 14 stolen bases), and 1st baseman Jarad Beckett (.286 avg, .395 on-base%, 21 RBI's. 25 runs).
Defensively, the club was once again led by its catching tandem of Bigelow and Kitamura, who threw out 21 of a possible 58 runners trying to steal while both calling great games behind the dish. Centre fielder Lucas Tillotson continued to develop into one of the elite outfielders in the league, while Alex Miyahara was faced with the difficult task of being a grade 10 shortstop and completed the job admirably.
The pitching staff was forced to deal with numerous injuries throughout the season, but still managed a cumulative ERA of 2.21. As the regular season began, the top two projected starters, Cole Ross and Brandon Sound, were both on the shelf with injuries. However, Spencer Stewart and Liam Stroud both stepped up to provide outstanding pitching until the staff returned to full strength. Despite the fact that Stewart himself suffered an injury that resulted in him missing the majority of the second half of the season, all four of these pitchers, along with Kitamura who stepped up huge in the second half of the season, led the solid pitching staff. Ross emerged as one of if not the top pitcher in the league, posting a 7-1 record with 3 complete games, 54.33 innings, 0.77 ERA, 65 K's, and a 1.10 WHIP. Brandon Sound led the team with 60.33 innings pitched,6 complete games, 3 shutouts and 11 starts, while posting a 7-5 record and a 3.36 ERA. Kitamura finished with 52 innings pitched, a 5-2 record, a 0.94 WHIP and a 0.94 ERA. The highlight of his season on the mound came in the Provincials with 8.67 innings pitched in an eventual win over Cloverdale. Other key contributors included Stewart (41 innings, 6-1 record, 1.37 ERA, 4 complete games), Liam Stroud (3-2 record, 2.78 ERA, 45.33 innings, 56 K's) and Brett Snowball (18.67 innings, 2.25 ERA, 2-1 record, 2 saves)
The 2010 season very much mirrored that of the previous year, with an unfortunately dissimilar ending. Despite losing in the Provincial Final, the team accomplished a great deal in reaching this point. Several players stepped up from complimentary roles to key contributors, while others emerged to fill important roles. The club would like to thank it's graduating players; Spencer Stewart, Jarad Beckett, Tim Nelson, Tyrell Ladubec, and Patrick Bigelow. Bigelow in particular deserves praise as a 3-year player who began as a role player in 2008 and has emerged as one of the best players in the league the last two seasons. The club would like to wish all 5 of these players best of luck in the future and hopes that they continue involvement in the game in some way. To all of those returning to the club in 2011, we hope to once again reach the top of the mountain.
Royals Lose in Provincial Championship Final
For the second consecutive season, the Ridge Meadows Royals qualified for the Provincial Championships Final. This year, however, they came up on the short end in the Championship Game, losing by a final of 9-1 to the Victoria Mariners. The tournament started off well for the Royals with a Thursday night game against the host Kamloops Riverdogs. Royals' ace Cole Ross took the mound and allowed only two hits and one unearned run en route to a hard fought 3-1 win. Centre-fielder Lucas Tillotson received game MVP honours, going 1-2 with a double, an RBI, and a tremendous diving catch in the outfield that prevented the Riverdogs from possibly getting back in the game.
On Friday the squad faced off against the Cloverdale Spurs, with Nathan Kitamura taking the hill. The Royals squandered numerous opportunities to score in the later innings, as a 3-3 game after three innings became a 3-3 game headed to extra innings. The Spurs scored a run in the top of the 9th after an error and a single. The Royals had the tying run throw out at the plate in the bottom half, and were down to their final strike with Ross on second base, when he attempted to steal third. After the ball was thrown away by the catcher, Ross came in to tie the game. The Royals then proceeded to load the bases before left fielder Tyrell Ladubec ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle to score the winning run in walk-off fashion. Starter Kitamura received game MVP honours after throwing 8 and two-thirds innings allowing just two earned runs. With the win the Royals clinched a spot in the semi-finals.
The third and final round-robin game meant very little, as both the Royals and their opponent, the Victoria Mariners, has already clinched spots in the semi-finals. The Royals used four pitchers in the game and came up on the short end by a final of 8-6. Shortstop Tim Nelson received game MVP after going 4-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI and throwing a shutout inning on the mound.
On Sunday the Royals squared off against the tournament's number one seed, the Vancouver Mounties. Ridge Meadows sent Cole Ross to the mound, who allowed only two runs over five solid innings of work. Spencer Stewart threw the last two innings to preserve an 8-4 victory and a birth in the final. At the plate, Tillotson, catcher Patrick Bigelow, and Ladubec all had two hits, while right fielder Brett Snowball scored three runs. Shortstop Alex Miyahara executed a perfect suicide squeeze to score Kitamura, which was a huge momentum-changer and helped propel the Royals to victory. Ross received game MVP.
The Championship Final was a match-up from earlier in the tournament, as the Royals met the Victoria Mariners, who had defeated the South Okanagan Tigers 4-0 in the other semi-final. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the second, when the Mariners scored a pair. The Mariners then took advantage of two costly Royals' errors to score four in the third and take a strangle-hold on the game. The Royals managed to get one back in the fourth, but left the bases loaded. After that the M's added three more in the fifth and the game was never really in doubt. Royals's starter Brandon Sound battled through four innings, while catcher Patrick Bigelow received game MVP honour collecting a pair of hits and a stolen base.
Overall, it was a solid tournament put in by the Royals. They simply ran out of gas after reaching the final game. The boys have nothing to hang their heads about, as they put in a valient effort but simply came up just a bit short in the end. A season review will follow in the coming days.
Royals Finish Regular Season on a Roll
The Ridge Meadows Royals completed their regular season schedule on Wednesday night with a 7-2 victory over the visiting Chilliwack Cougars. The win gave the Royals a sweep in the four game season series with the Cougars, and they finished with an overall record of 29-11, good enough for third place in the eleven team league. Brandon Sound started for the Royals and threw four solid innings before Tyrell Ladubec and Brett Snowball came in to relieve him and preserve the victory. Lead-off hitter Lucas Tillotson paced the offence with a pair of hits and a walk, along with scoring two runs and driving one in. Sound and Cole Ross each had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI's, while Liam Stroud scored a pair of runs. The Royals now enjoy a week break from game action while they wait for the rest of the league to finish the regular season this weekend. The Royals will then travel to Kamloops to attempt to defend their Provincial Title beginning next Thursday. The Royals enter the tournament having won 9 of their last 10 games, and will be one of the favourites heading in to the tournament. Good luck to the boys!
Royals Sweep First Place Mounties
The Ridge Meadows Royals sent a strong message heading into the Provincial Championships in two weeks time by sweeping a pair of games in Vancouver from the first place Mounties. In the first game, starter Cole Ross tossed three shutout innings while striking out six before exiting with a sore back. Tyrell Ladubec came in and threw three and two thirds innings of solid relief before Brett Snowball came in to record the last out of a 9-5 win. Offensively the Royals exploded for seven runs in the third and cruised from there, adding single runs in the fourth and sixth. Brandon Sound went 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Ladubec had a 4-4 game and catcher Nathan Kitamura had two singles and a run scored. The second game saw the Mounties jump out to an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings. The Royals tied it up with a two-run single in the third by Ross and took the lead in the fourth on an RBI fielder's choice by Patrick Bigelow. The Royals then added two more in the fifth on RBI's by Sound and Snowball. The Mounties were able to add one of their own in the fifth, but Snowball threw a very solid four and two thirds innings of no-hit relief to pick up the win and secure the sweep. With only one league game remaining, the Royals sit comfortably in third place in the league with a record of 28-11. Next up will be a Wednesday match-up at Albion against the Chilliwack Cougars as the Royals look for the season sweep. First pitch goes at 7pm.
Royals Remain in Third Place With Pair of Wins
The Ridge Meadows Royals continued their progression towards the Provincial Championships this week with a pair of wins over the Cloverdale Spurs and the Chilliwack Cougars. On Wednesday the Royals hosted the Spurs for their final meeting of the season. Nathan Kitamura took the mound, allowing only four hits and facing only three over the minimum in shutting out the Spurs en route to a 2-0 victory. Third baseman Brandon Sound paced the offence, scoring the eventual winning run in the second inning and driving in the insurance run in the sixth. On Thursday the team travelled to Chilliwack to take on the Cougars. The game was a pitcher's duel early on, with the Royals scoring a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead. However, the Cougars fought back and scored four in the fifth after a base hit to center field took a huge hop over Lucas Tillotson's head and went all the way to the wall. The Royals fought back, with Cole Ross tying the game with a two-run single to center in the sixth. They then went ahead after executing a suicide squeeze laid down by Dylan MacDermid, with the final score being 6-4. Sound went the distance allowing six hits while not walking a batter and striking out eight. The Royals now have only three league game left, two of which take place this Saturday in Vancouver against the first place Mounties.
Royals Split Double-Dip with Victoria Mariners
On Saturday the Royals, currently in third place in the Midget AAA league standings, split a pair of games at Albion against the second place Victoria Mariners. In the first game, starter Cole Ross dominated the M's hitters through six shutout innings, allowing only a single hit. Brett Snowball came in to pitch the seventh and preserved the shutout while recording his second save of the season. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Alex Miyahara, Ross, and Jarad Beckett hit three singles in a row to cash a pair of runs. The Royals added another in the sixth on an RBI single by Spencer Stewart to win by a final of 3-0. The second game was much less of a pitcher's game, as the Royals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning before the Mariners scored two runs in each of the next three innings to take a 6-3 lead. The Royals clawed back and were able to tie it up after five, but the M's got another in the sixth and despite having the go-ahead run on base in each of the last two innings, the Royals were unable to push anything else across. This week the Royals host the Cloverdale Spurs on Wednesday for the team's final meeting of the season, and will then travel to Chilliwack on Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday for a double-header against the first place Mounties.
Royals Win Pair of Home Games
This week the Royals won a pair of home games to improve their regular season record to 23-10, good enough for 3rd place in the league. On Tuesday they hosted the Cloverdale Spurs, with Cole Ross taking to the mound. Ross completely shut down the Spur bats, allowing only an unearned run on four hits while striking out 10 batters. Offensively, first baseman Jarad Beckett went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while centre fielder Lucas Tillotson had a pair of hits after missing over a week, and left fielder Keegan Head had a pair of RBI's. On Thursday the Royals hosted the Tri-City Indians for their fourth and final meeting of the season. Starter Brandon Sound held the Tribe to only three hits, and the Royals shut them out for the fourth time this season, outscoring them 29-0. Ross and Beckett each drove in a pair of runs, while Tillotson, catcher Nathan Kitamura, and second baseman Dylan MacDermid each scored a pair of runs. This weekend the Royals will host the second place Victoria Mariners at Albion on Saturday, with the first pitch set for 1pm.
Royals Go 3-1 on Trip to Interior
The Ridge Meadows Royals traveled to the interior of British Columbia this past weekend to play a pair of double-headers in Kamloops and Penticton. In the first game on Saturday, the club pounded out 14 runs on 12 hits en route to a 14-1 mercy-rule victory. Cole Ross allowed only a single run on three hits in going to the distance for the win. Ross also paced the offence with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in. Catcher Nathan Kitamura also had a solid day at the plate, going 2-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. The second game of the day was much closer, as it remained scoreless through five innings. In the sixth, right fielder Brett Snowball hit a two-run triple that was the difference and the Royals went on to a 3-0 win. Starter Liam Stroud dominated on the mound, allowing only a single hit for the complete game shutout.
On Sunday the squad traveled to Penticton to take on the Tigers. In the first game, the Royals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Lucas Tillotson led off the game with a double and came around to score. The Tigers came back with a pair of their own in the bottom half of the inning, and added another in the second. The Royals momentarily tied the game at 3-3 in the third, before the Tigers regained the lead for good and went on to a 5-3 win. Brandon Sound battled to a complete game loss for the Royals, while Ross went 3-4 at the plate with a pair of RBI’s. Keegan Head went 2-2 with a run scored. The final game of the weekend was unfortunately taken over by the base umpire, who felt that he deserved to be the centre of attention. In the bottom of the first inning, manager Nor Ljunggren was ejected after arguing an obvious blown call at second base. Later on, hitting coach Dan Rennie was thrown out because the base umpire believed that he was somehow receiving messages from Ljunggren who was beyond the left field fence. At this point the base umpire believed that the game should be forfeited, but thanks to Tigers’ coach Junior Deleon, the game was able to continue. The Royals received solid pitching from Kitamura, Head, and Snowball to help them to a 7-4 victory and a hard fought split against a solid South Okanagan club. Call-up Tyrell Ladubec had three hits and a pair of runs scored while Alex Miyahara reached base four times. A great deal of credit should go to Miyahara, who caught two of the weekends four games after not catching a single inning prior to this weekend. The Royals now enjoy an 8-day break from league, as they will travel back to Kamloops this coming weekend to take part in the 10th Annual Daley and Company Canada Day Tournament at beautiful MacArthur Island.
Royals Split Pair of Road Games
The Ridge Meadows Royals started their six games in seven days road week with a pair of games this week in Abbotsford and Cloverdale. On Monday the club had a chance to sweep the four game season series from the Angels, but poor offensive execution combined with a few errors and some inconsistent pitching led to a 3-1 loss. Dylan MacDermid drove in the team's only run. On Tuesday the team traveled to Cloverdale to take on the Spurs for th efirst time since early April. The team jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, but gave the lead back with a couple of walks and a couple of errors. However, the Royals grabbed the momentum back and tacked on two more, with Brett Snowball driving in the winning run on a suicide squeeze that scored Alex Miyahara. Cole Ross picked up the win in relief of Liam Stroud going 4.2 innings without allowing a run, while Jarad Beckett paced the offence with two hits and an RBI. The Royals now have a few days off before traveling to the Interior this weekend to take on Kamloops Saturday and Penticton on Sunday.
Five Royals Participate in All-Star Game
For the second consecutive season, the Ridge Meadows Royals had five players play in the Midget AAA All-Star Game held at Richmond's Latrace Field on Saturday. Patrick Bigelow (C, OF), Cole Ross (RHP, 1B, OF), Brett Snowball (RHP, OF), Liam Stroud (RHP, OF), and Brandon Sound (RHP, 3B) were all invited and performed very well in both the skills assessment in the morning as well as the two games held in the afternoon. In addition, Royals' assistant coach Dan Rennie was given the honour of coaching one of the teams in the game. Congratulations to all for their accomplishments.
Royals Lose Marathon Game Against Vancouver
In one of the longest games in club history (2 hours and 58 minutes), the Royals dropped a tough 9-7 decision to the Vancouver Mounties on Thursday night. The Royals found themselves down 6-0 after only an inning and a half, after the Mounties put up five runs in the second. The team did not give up, however, and were able to get to Mountie ace Marc Addison for six runs in four innings. Heading to the fifth, the Royals had cut it to an 8-6 game, however the Mounties added another insurance run, and despite getting the go-ahead run on base in the sixth, the Royals' valient comeback effort came up short, losing by a final of 9-7. Shortstop Tim Nelson and catcher Patrick Bigelow led the offence, both recording two hits and an RBI. The Royals will now enjoy the weekend off, with the exception of the four players who will be heading to Richmond on Saturday to partake in the all-star game. The team will then have a busy week coming up with six road games, including a trip to the interior next weekend.
Royals Blank Tribe 4-0
The Royals used three pitchers to shutout the Tri-City Indians for the third time in as many meetings this season Tuesday in Port Moody. The victory extends the Royals season-high winning streak to seven games and keeps them in third place in the league standings. Spencer Stewart started but left after only one inning with tightness in his shoulder. Cole Ross came in and threw three solid innings to pick up the win, while Nathan Kitamura held the Indians scoreless the rest of the way to record teh save. Offensively, the Royals' only two hits came courtesy of shortstop Alex Miyahara, but they were able to take advantage of 11 walks and a hit batter to muster four runs. Next up for the Royals is a match-up on Thursday against the first-place Vancouver Mounties at Albion, with the first pitch set for 7pm.
Royals Shutout Chilliwack 9-0
Spencer Stewart threw a complete game, three-hit shutout as the Royals beat the Chilliwack Cougars for the second time this season by a score of 9-0. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Royals' bats busted out for six runs to blow the game open. Third baseman Brandon Sound led the offence, going 2-4 with 3 RBI's, while second baseman Alex Miyahara reached base three times and scored a pair of runs
Royals Extend Winning Streak to Five with Win in Richmond
Behind a complete game performance by starter Brandon Sound, the Ridge Meadows Royals defeated the Richmond Chuckers on Thursday night by a final score of 5-3. The Royals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after three innings, capped off by a 3-run double by catcher Patrick Bigelow. The Chuckers battled back and had the tying run on second base in the seventh before Sound induced a ground ball to end the game. This was the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two perennial contenders, with the season series split at two games a piece. The Royals will now enjoy their first weekend off of the season before getting back at it next week with a home-and-home series with the Chilliwack Cougars. Tuesday they will host the Cougars at Albion at 7pm and then travel deep into the valley on Thursday night to complete the series.
Royals Spear Tribe
The Ridge Meadows Royals extended their winning streak to four games on Tuesday night with a 6-0 victory over the Tri-city Indians in Port Moody. Nathan Kitamura took the mound and was very solid in allowing only one hit and needing only 66 pitches to get through six innings. Brett Snowball pitched a scoreless seventh to preserve the shutout. The bats were led by first baseman Jarad Beckett, who went 4-4 with two doubles, three runs scored, and an RBI. Brandon Sound also had a solid day, going 2-2 with a double, 2 RBI, and was hit by a pitch twice. Thursday the club will travel to Richmond to face the Chuckers for the fourth and final time this season.
Royals Take Two from Mustangs
The Ridge Meadows Royals improved their regular season record to 13-7 by sweeping a double-header Sunday from the Mid-Island Mustangs by scores of 3-2 and 7-3. In the first game, Spencer Stewart took the hill and was very sharp, allowing only two runs on four hits in six and two-thirds innings. Brett Snowball came on in relief and picked up the win. The game was tied heading to the bottom of the seventh before the Royals loaded the bases with no one out and Jarad Beckett ended it with a walk-off single up the middle. Nathan Kitamura paced the offence, going 3-3 with a double and a run scored. Catcher Patrick Bigelow had two hits and a run scored. In the second game, four Royals' pitchers combined to allow only three hits to the Mustangs en route to a 7-3 win. Bigelow and Lucas Tillotson each reached base three times Beckett chipped in with a pair of hits and Brandon Sound drove in a pair of runs. This week the Royals have a pair of road games, first travelling to Port Moody on Tuesday to take on the Tri-City Indians before heading out to Richmond for their fourth and final meeting of the season with the Chuckers.
Royals Mercy Tribe 10-0
The Ridge Meadows Royals returned to league play on Tuesday night and soundly defeated their long-time rival, the Tri-City Indians, by a count of 10-0 in 6 innings. Brandon Sound took the hill for the Royals and was solid recording his first complete game shutout of the season. Defensively, centre fielder Lucas Tillotson made two sensational diving catches to help preserve the shutout. Dylan MacDermid continued to tear the cover off the ball with two more hits, including a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Shortstop Alex Miyahara reached base three times, scored twice and drove in two, while designated hitter Brett Snowball had two hits to go with an RBI and a run scored. Eric Blower also chipped in with a hit, two walks, and an RBI. The Royals now have a few days off before they host the Mid-Island Mustangs for a pair of games on Sunday at Albion with the first pitch going at 11am.
Royals Lose in Semi-Finals in Puyallup
The Ridge Meadows Royals travelled to Puyallup, Washington this past weekend to take part in the Puyallup Memorial Day Classic. The weekend started off well as the Royals won both of their games on Saturday to take first place in their pool. In the first, they faced league-rival Richmond Chuckers and defeated them 4-1 behind solid pitching from Tim Nelson and Nathan Kitamura. Dylan MacDermid paced the offence with two hits, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. In the second game, the team faced off against Reality Sports from Puyallup. The Royals' offence scored early and often en route to a 9-1 win behind a great pitching performance by Spencer Stewart, who allowed only one unearned run. MacDermid again had a solid game hitting a two-run triple and scoring a pair of runs. Eric Blower and Alex Miyahara also had a pair of hits each. The two wins gave the Royals a bye to the semi-final on Sunday where they once again faced Reality Sports. This time the outcome was much different as the Royal pitchers struggled a bit, and the offence couldn't get much going in an eventual 8-3 loss. MacDermid continued his red-hot weekend, recording another hit and stealing three bases. Jarad Beckett had two hits and Brett Snowball reached base three times. All-in-all it was a successful weekend from the team as they return to league play back home.
Royals Fall to Mounties
Inconsistency continues to plague the Royals as they suffered just their second home loss of the season on Thursday, losing to the Vancouver Mounties by a score of 5-1. Three Royal pitchers combined to give 12 free passes, and the offence was only able to knock out four singles against the Mountie pitcher. This weekend the team will be heading down to Puyallup, Washington to take part in the Puyallup Memorial Day Classic on Saturday and Sunday, before returning home to host the Tri-City Indians at Albion on Tuesday at 7pm.
Royals Rout Chilliwack 9-0
The Ridge Meadows Royals travelled to Chilliwack on Thursday for their only league game this week, and handed the Cougars a 9-0 loss at Fairfield Island. Brandon Sound took the hill for the Royals and threw his first complete game of the season, scattering five hits and striking out ten while needing exactly 100 pitches to finish off the Cougars. The offence scored in four seperate innings and was led to left fielder Patrick Bigelow, who scored twice, and first baseman Eric Blower, who had two hits and scored three runs. The Royals now play a pair of exhibition games Saturday before playing a pair of league games next week against Tri-City and Vancouver. They will then head to Puyallup, Washington next weekend for the Puyallup Memorial Day Tournament.
Royals Improve Record to 9-6 After Ending Losing Skid
The Ridge Meadows Royals opened the week by extending their losing streak to four games in Richmond, losing by a score of 6-0. The game was close for the first five innings, however the Royals were only able to muster two hits the entire game, both by left fielder Patrick Bigelow. Spencer Stewart started and battled to his third complete game of the season, however he struggled a bit with his command and was unable to shut down the Chucker's bats. On Sunday, the Royals turned their fortunes around with two solid victories over the Kamloops Riverdogs at Albion by scores of 6-5 and 14-1. In the first game, the Royals jumped out to a 5-1 lead after four innings, however the Riverdogs rallied with four runs in the top of the fifth to even the score. The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when catcher Nathan Kitamura walked which was followed by consecutive bunt singles by Dylan MacDermid and Lucas Tillotson. Bigelow came to the plate and drew a walk for the Royals' first walk-off win of the season. Liam Stroud started the game and threw four and a third before Brandon Sound relieved him and held the Riverdogs scoreless the rest of the way to pick up the win. In the second game, the Royals scored four in the second and seven in the third to blow it open early and cruised to a 14-1 win in a five-inning mercy. At the dish, several Royals had big days. Lead-off hitter Bigelow went 3-6 with two walks, a HBP, two runs and four RBI's. Brandon Sound was 3-7 with a walk and 3 RBI's, while Jarad Beckett was 2-2 with a HBP and two RBI's. This week the schedule lightens up for the Royals, as their only league game is a trip to Chilliwack on Thursday to take on the Cougars.
Royals Go 1-3 on Trip to Vancouver Island
During what is annually the toughest road trip of the season due to travel, weather, and poor umpiring, the Ridge Meadows Royals battled to a 1-3 record this past weekend on Vancouver Island. On Saturday the team travelled to Ladysmith to take on the Mid-Island Mustangs who return to the Midget AAA League after a one-year hiatus. Spencer Stewart took the hill for the Royals and needed only 77 pitches to get through all seven innings while allowing only an unearned run in a 5-1 victory. Right fielder Brett Snowball had a two-run single to pace the offence. In the second game, the Royals' bats struggled to manufacture much but the team still held a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. However, a dropped fly ball and a throwing error allowed two runs to score and the game went to extra innings, where the Mustangs won in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out single to left. Cole Ross started for the Royals and lasted into the eighth, striking out 13 Mustangs and allowing only one earned run. Manager Nor Ljunggren was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing over a called balk on relief pitcher Nathan Kitamura. The call was eventually overturned, but did not change the outcome of the game. On Sunday the club travelled to Victoria to take on the Mariners. In the early game Liam Stroud held the M's bats at bay for the first four innings, establishing his fastball despite a very unpredictable strike zone. The Royals held a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth before the Mariners loaded the bases at which point Stroud was removed. Snowball came in and walked in a run and then an infield single gave the Mariners the lead. The Royals threatened in the sixth and should have had the lead-off man on in the seventh but the plate umpire did not see or hear Eric Blower's bat hit the catcher's glove. The game ended with a 2-1 score. The final game of the weekend saw Brandon Sound take the mound for his first start of the season. The Mariners jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and were up 6-2 before Sound was removed in the fourth. Nathan Kitamura came in and kept Victoria from causing much further damage, but the Royals were unable to come back despite a valient effort with the final being 7-5. The Royals had the tying run on second base in the seventh but couldn't come up with a key hit when needed. Overall it was a good learning experience for the team, who showed good heart and desire and were in every game. This week the club will face off with the Richmond Chuckers on Thursday before hosting the Kamloops Riverdogs on Sunday at Albion with the first pitch set for 11am.
Royals Win Three Against Abbotsford, Outscore Them 30-5
This week the Royals had a bit of a strange schedule as they faced off against the Abbotsford Angels three times. On Wednesday Spencer Stewart took the hill in Abbotsford and surrendered only a run on three hits in five innings of work before turning it over to the bullpen. Eric Blower struggled a bit in his one inning, allowing three runs, but the Royals' offence proved to be more than enough as they prevailed 9-4. Brett Snowball pitched a scoreless seventh inning to close things out. On Saturday the Royals' bats exploded for 21 runs on 20 hits and backed by solid pitching performances the squad recorded two mercy victories of 11-1 (6 innings) and 10-0 (5 innings). In the first game, Liam Stroud took the mound and threw his first complete game of the season allowing only an unearned run and one hit to go with his 10 strikeouts. In the second game, Nathan Kitamura threw four shutout innings before Brandon Sound, returning from a sprained ankle, came in to close out the game. Cole Ross had a very good day at the plate, going 4-7 with a walk, 3 RBI's and 2 runs scored. First baseman Jarad Beckett reached base four times and scored four runs, while catcher Eric Blower not only provided solid defence behind the plate for both games but also chipped in going 3-5 with 2 walk, 2 RBI's and 3 runs scored. A big thank you goes out to our grounds crew of parents who were able to get the field ready despite a steady rain the previous evening. This week the Royals will play a pair of exhibition games against the Coquitlam A's on Tuesday and Thursday before traveling to Vancouver Island next weekend for a four-game set with the Mid-Island Mustangs and Victoria Mariners.
Royals Sweep Double-Dip with South Okanagan
The Ridge Meadows Royals improved their regular season record to 3-2 by taking a pair of games from the South Okanagan Tigers at Albion on Sunday afternoon. In the first game, Spencer Stewart took the mound and was successful in keeping the Tigers off-balance, allowing only four hits in throwing the Royals' first complete game of the season in a 7-2 win. Right fielder Brett Snowball reached base four times for the Royals, scoring a pair of runs to lead the offence. Catcher Nathan Kitamura continued to show why he is an elite catcher, throwing out his fifth runner in six attempts this season. In the second game, Liam Stroud (3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs) and Kitamura (4 innings, 3 hits, 1 run) split the pitching duties and kept their opponents bats' quiet, as the Royals came away with a 4-1 victory. Offensively, centre fielder Lucas Tillotson and catcher Patrick Bigelow both had a pair of hits and a run scored, while left fielder Keegan Head had a two-run double. This week the Royals will play three games against the Abbotsford Angels, beginning with a trip to Abbotsford on Wednesday before hosting them for a pair of games on Saturday at Albion.
Royals Drop Pitcher's Duel in Cloverdale
Despite out-hitting the Cloverdale Spurs by a 6 to 1 margin on Wednesday night, the Ridge Meadows Royals dropped a tough 2-1 decision in their first road game of the season. Liam Stroud took to the hill for the Royals and completely dominated the Spurs' hitters over 6 plus innings, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth before allowing a weak single that just squeezed through the right side of the infield. The Royals had numerous opportunites to score, but only managed a single run on a two-out RBI single by Brett Snowball. The Spurs capitalized on the Royals' control issues on the seventh, as Stroud and Snowball combined to load the bases with no one out before a walk and an error led to the win for Cloverdale. Overall it was a better effort by the Royals with a lot of positives to take from the loss. The team will now host the SOMBA Tigers on Sunday at Albioin. First pitch at 11am.
Royals Split Season Opener with Richmond
The Ridge Meadows Royals opened the 2010 regular season by splitting a pair of games at home against the Richmond Chuckers. In the first game, the Royals sent Brett Snowball to the hill and the team came out extremely flat, allowing five Richmond runs in the first inning. The Royals' bats were equally ineffective, as they collected only a single hit in a 6-inning mercy with the final score being 10-0. The only highlight for the Royals was catcher Nathan Kitamura throwing out 3 runners attempting to steal. The Royals re-grouped for the second game, sending Cole 'Fiver' Ross the hill. The team played much better on the defensive side of the ball but still found themselves down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the 6th. Alex Miyahara led off the inning with a single to left, and after stealing second was driven in by a Patrick Bigelow double. With Bigelow later on the third and Liam Stroud on first, the Royals executed a great double-steal to tie the game. Stroud later scored on a pass ball to put the Royals up 4-3. Spencer Stewart threw three strong innings in relief to pick up the win. This week the Royals will travel to Cloverdale on Wednesday before hosting the South Okanagan Tigers for a pair of games next Sunday at Albion. First pitch goes at 11am.
Ridge Meadows Royals 2010 Season Preview
The 2010 edition of the Ridge Meadows Royals are looking forward to defending their League, Provincial, and Western Canadian Championships. The team will once again be led by Manager Nor Ljunggren, who returns for his fourth season at the helm. Joining him will be Pitching Coach Matt Gauthier, who played four years of college ball at Douglas and Kwantlen. Dan Rennie, this year's Hitting Coach, will be making his transition from playing to coaching coming off his MVP season in 2009. Rounding out the coaching staff will be Outfield/Bench Coach Doug 'Howie' MacDermid, who returns after joining the squad mid-way through last season in his second tour of duty with the team.
This year's pitching staff will be led by a trio of returning Grade 11's: Cole 'Fiver' Ross, Brandon Sound, and Brett Snowball. All three will be expected to log innings and take on much larger roles that last year. New additions to the club include Grade 12's Spencer Stewart and Tim Nelson, who will be asked to fill a number of different roles on the pitching staff. Grade 9 Liam Stroud is expected to make great strides and will play a key role on the staff. Other pitchers include Nathan Kitamura, Eric Blower, and Keegan Head.
Last year's catching tandem of Nathan Kitamura and Patrick Bigelow, both of whom were amoung the best defensive backstops in league, both return this season. Grade 10 newcomer Eric Blower will join the group. Last year's defence behind the plate was a huge key to the team's success, and there is no reason to think it will be any different this season.
The infield will see the biggest turnover from last season, as all four starting positions will see new faces. First base will be manned by newcomer Jarad Beckett who will bat in the middle of the order and is expected to drive in runs. Ross and Blower will also see time at first base. Grade 10 Alex Miyahara, who has shown great range and soft hands, will join Beckett on the right side of the infield, with many others including Stewart, Dylan MacDermid, and Kitamura seeing time there. Shortstop will see Nelson and Sound both get time, as well as Miyahara. Finally, third base will time shared between Sound, MacDermid, and Stroud.
This season's outfield will possess a great deal of speed combined with some quality arms. Lucas Tillotson, coming off a strong rookie season in 2009, will be the everyday centre-fielder and lead-off hitter. Ross and Snowball, who both possess above-average arms, will see most of the time in right field. Stroud and Head will also get some time out there. Left field will be controlled by Bigelow, who will be backed up by MacDermid and Blower.
This year's group has been working out since early November and is looking forward to another successful season.
Royals Lose in Semi-Final at Best of the West
For the second consecutive season, the Ridge Meadows Royals lost in the semi-final of the Best of the West held in Penticton this past weekend. After splitting their first two games on Friday and being seeded second out of seven for Saturday's playoff round, the team beat PBF Calgary 1-0 to set up a semi-final against the South Okanagan Tigers. The Tigers scored a run early and added on two more and as was the case for most of the weekend, the Royal's bats weren't able to muster much as they lost 3-1. Congratulations goes out to the South Okanagan Tigers who ended up winning the tournament by defeating the Strathmore Reds in the final. The weekend was a great learning experience for the boys as they enter league play this weekend with the regular season and home-opener being held on Sunday, April 11th at Albion against the Richmond Chuckers. First pitch goes at noon.
2010 Schedule Released
The 2010 league schedule has been released by BC Minor. Our entire season's schedule can be found under the 'Schedule' tab. All 40 league games are capitalized. There may be a few exhibition games added, but as of now this schedule includes all league, tournament, and exhibition games.
Royals Named 'Team of the Year' by BC Minor Baseball
Saturday night, the 2009 edition of the Ridge Meadows Royals were named BC Minor's 'Team of the Year' at the annual BC Minor Banquet held in Coquitlam. In addition, head coach Nor Ljunggren was awarded the 'Coach of the Year'. Both of these awards are the result of the hard work and commitment of the players, coaching staff, and families that made up the team. Congratulations to the team for a tremendous season in 2009.
Royals Name New Pitching Coach
The Ridge Meadows Royals are pleased to announce that Matt Gauthier will be the team's new pitching coach. Matt has a great deal of playing and coaching experience, having played with the Royals in 2002 and 2003. After graduating from minor ball, Matt went on to play two seasons at Douglas College and two more at Kwantlen College. After completing college, Matt went on to coach a season of Bantam AA in Ridge Meadows as well as a season as an assistant with the PBL's Langley Blaze. Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team and will be a huge asset to our program.