U13 Royals win first game of Westerns

Markus Exner of the Prince Albert Royals delivers a pitch during baseball action at Kinsmen Baseball Complex on Friday afternoon . -- Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert U13 Royals scored early and often and picked up their first win of the 2023 U13 Western championships with a 15-5 win over the Consort Cubs (Alberta).

Royal head coach Jason Van Otterloo says he was happy with the way Prince Albert played after a long time between games.

“It was a nice, comfortable game. We put up runs every inning. I love the fact that even after a long layoff, the sticks are still there for us. Sometimes if you haven’t hit competitive pitching in a while, that’s the thing that you can be tough with. We put up runs and had a couple two out rallies.”

The Royals had a balanced attack and scored in every one of the game’s five innings except the second on their way to the victory.

Van Otterloo says having consistent offense helps relax the team.

“It makes everything else in the game so much easier to do. It makes my pitching choices better. You’re working from just a much more comfortable standpoint, which is as a manager, knowing you’ve got the lead and you always have that ability to score runs, makes things so much nicer.”

After the tournament was relocated to Prince Albert due to wildfires in Kelowna last month, Van Otterloo says he is happy the team is returning to playing baseball.

“They’re just happy to be doing it. I’m happy that Western baseball wanted to have it go on and that we could host it and put it together quickly. Talking with all the other teams here, everybody’s just happy that we’re just playing baseball.”

The Royals return to action at 10:45 a.m. Saturday when they take on the Manitoba representative Brandon Marlins at the Kinsmen Baseball Complex.