The Prince Albert Royals 18U squad had a good outing at the dish, but lost an offensive battle 13-6 to the North Battleford Beavers on Wednesday night at Andy Zwack Field. The loss drops the club to 2-4 in the early stages of the season, while the Beavers improved to 4-3. North Battleford took two games out of the three game set, after splitting their first two meetings on Sunday.
“We came back and we kept it close, and we were leading for a while,” coach Pat Robin said. “Later on in the game it went a little haywire for us. We made a couple of errors that ended up costing us, and that just can’t happen. This was a game that we would have liked to win, but sometimes baseball doesn’t play out the way you want it. We did some good things, and there are always positives to leave with.”
Dylan Risling and Noah Puetz led off the game with back to back singles for the Beavers. Both runners would cash in on back to back ground outs to give North Battleford an early 2-0 lead. In the bottom half of the first, Lukas Robin wasted no time putting some offense up for the Royals, as he hit a double on the first pitch of the inning. He would come into score after stealing third and tagging up on a fly ball to left field, and the score was 2-1 after the first inning.
Royals starting pitcher Dawson Patterson proceeded to throw back to back clean innings, allowing just one walk in the second and third combined, while striking out a pair of batters.
After a strikeout and a fly out began the bottom of the third inning, Prince Albert’s offense came back to life, as they scored two more runs to take a 3-2 lead. They hit three singles in a row, and were able to capitalize on a pair of throwing mistakes. Patterson and Nick Dutchak picked up third inning RBI’s to put the Royals in front 3-2 at the midway point in the game.
“I think the more we play, the better we’re going to get,” Robin said. “We’re dealing with a lot of new baseball players on this team, and there is a lot of learning.”
The Beavers responded in the top of the fourth, as they scored three runs of their own to retake the lead. Ryan Taylor hit a lead off double to get things started. He stole third and came in to score on the next at bat. Trayton Troesch and Quaid Watson also crossed home plate in the frame, as North Battleford led 5-3.
Puetz pitched four and two thirds innings for the Beavers, surrendering five earned on seven hits.
The two teams traded a pair of runs each in the fifth inning, but the Beavers added one more in the sixth to take an 8-5 lead into the seventh and final frame. Patterson handed the ball over to the bullpen after pitching five innings, giving up six earned and striking out two.
Three different Royals pitchers made appearances in the seventh inning, which they allowed five more runs in to trail 13-5. Prince Albert added one more run in the bottom half to make it a 13-6 final.
“There are going to be some games where we’re up against a wall,” Robin added. “There are some really good ball teams with some really good players. It’s a big learning curve this year, and we’re a very young team. We can play a game that’s very clean, but North Battleford came out and they hit well tonight.”
The Royals are back in action on Sunday for a pair of games in Muenster. They’ll take on the Muenster Red Sox and the Weyburn Beavers. The team’s next home game is on Wednesday night when they welcome the Saskatoon Blue Jays.