Royals sweep Canucks

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Bronson Paetsch, seen here during a game against the Moose Jaw Canucks earlier this season, was a key performer for the Prince Albert Royals this weekend.

Win streak now at eight games

On the surface, Sunday’s 8-2 and 9-3 triumphs over the 1-6 Moose Jaw Canucks would appear like any other one in the Prince Albert Under-18 Royals eight-game win streak.

However, both contests at Andy Zwack Field were anything but easy.

The first game of the day was knotted up at one until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the hosts rattled off six unanswered runs.

They would then break open up a 3-2 contest later in the afternoon by scoring three runs in the fifth and sixth frames.

“Once again, it was our defence that allowed us to get the win in both games,” Royals coach Geoff Gay said. “They’ve keep games tight and they’ve allowed our offence to relax out there and have those outbursts where they put up multiple runs in an inning.

“We’ve had quite a bit more practice reps than we did a year ago in our shortened season, which has really helped us out a lot,” Royals second baseman, shortstop and pitcher Ben Lefebvre added. “I think it shows with what we do out on the field.”

With their wins, the 8-1-1 Royals remain in first place in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League AA division, with the 6-3-1 Unity Cardinals currently holding down the second spot in the 15-team loop.

“I don’t know if there’s a real secret to our success or anything like that,” Lefebvre said.

“This is our first time playing any kind of sports in almost a year, so we’re just trying to have as much fun as we can out there.”

Bronson Paetsch continued his strong start to the season by going five-for-eight on Sunday and driving in three runs.

Nathan Gay also had three runs batted in during the double hitter, while Paetsch, Lefebvre and Brady Robin combined to strike out 18 Canucks.

“I feel like we are a lot more relaxed out there and playing as a team,” Lefebvre said. “We’re not getting down on ourselves if we make an error, which is what would happen at times last year.”

The Royals will embark on their first road trip of the season on Sunday as they’ll travel to Regina and face the 2-6-1 Pacers.

“That will be our first road trip in who knows who long,” Lefebvre said. “We’re all really looking forward to it.”

“It’s very important for us to make sure that we have a proper warm-up once we arrive in Regina,” Gay added. “We’ve played in the Saskatoon league for years so we know what it’s like to rush down and play a road game.”

The Royals will return to Andy Zwack Field on Tuesday, June 29 for a 6:30 p.m. contest with the 6-3 Saskatoon Athletics.