Royals capture first victory on season opening road trip

Herald File Photo. The Prince Albert Royals stretch prior to a practice earlier this season

The start of the weekend didn’t quite go to plan for the Prince Albert U18AA Royals, but they were able to capture their first win of the season on Saturday evening to begin their SPBLAA schedule.

After rain throughout the day in Weyburn, the Royals and Beavers would start a doubleheader of two five inning games beginning at 7 p.m. rather than the initially scheduled 1 p.m.

Royals head coach Scott Gladstone says it was a long day for Prince Albert, but they were excited to start their season off with a victory.

“It was a bit of an adventure this weekend, in which we didn’t get things started until 7 p.m. on Saturday night and we played a doubleheader. We ended up winning that first game 14 to 13 in extra innings, so that was a good start for the guys. They were pretty excited, and the second game didn’t go quite as well.

“We gave up six runs in the first inning. And then after that we played them to a 3-3 tie through the rest of it. It was a long night. We didn’t get off the field until 12:30 a.m., With our hotel being booked in Estevan, we didn’t arrive until 1:30 in the morning.”

With the game being tied at 6-6 after five innings in the first game, the Royals and Beavers would need extra innings to decide a winner.

Prince Albert would explode for eight runs in the top half of the sixth inning to take a 14-6 lead into the bottom half of the frame.

Weyburn would forge a comeback of their own in the bottom half plating seven runs, but they couldn’t find the equalizer as the Royals would hang on for the win.

Lyndon Simpson led the charge offensively for Prince Albert going three-for-four with a trio of RBIs and a walk. He would also get the start on the mound for the Royals, allowing four unearned runs over three innings of work allowing four hits, five walks and punching out seven.

In the second half of the double header, the Beavers would explode for six runs in the first inning off of Royals starter Kolby Brown and wouldn’t look back.

Lukas Robin and Kayden Burns each had a pair of hits for Prince Albert in the loss.

The Royals would drop both of their games in Estevan on Sunday by identical scores of 13-3.

In the first game, Estevan starter Jake Linthicum would keep the Royal bats at bay allowing three earned runs on four hits with four walks over five innings of work striking out seven.

In the second game, Estevan would score in all five games to force the 10 run mercy rule after five innings of play.

“I thought it was a good overall start to the season.” Gladstone said about the weekend as a whole. “We’re 1-3, but I saw some good stuff. I saw some good pitching; I saw some decent defence and the bats were okay. Obviously, we’ve got some work to do with our hitting and our defence. But I think our pitching is still going to be strong.”

The Royals will begin their home schedule this weekend when they welcome the Regina Buffalos to Andy Zwack Field for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.

Gladstone says Prince Albert is ready for their home opener.

“We’re super excited to get our home season started here at Andy Zwack and it should be a little bit nicer pace. We’re going to have only two games this weekend, so we’ll be able to use our pitchers, try to get guys into games and keep their pitch count down. This weekend, we had to use a lot of pitchers to get through four games.”