As has been the case throughout the 2021 Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League AA season, the Prince Albert Under-18 Royals bats were humming on Wednesday night.
The Royals improved to record to 14-7-1 on the campaign thanks to 10-3 and 11-3 triumphs over the host North Battleford Beavers at Beaver Lions Stadium.
“I think we just got on the bats early and took control of the game,” Royals player Jack Mortimer said. “We made them play up to our level and we didn’t play down to theirs.”
“Not only was it a pair of good offensive games, but we also played great defensively,” Royals coach Ken Malenfant added.
“When we were talking to the team in our post-game meeting, we told them that our pitching was outstanding as well. We threw a lot of strikes and we didn’t walk a lot of guys, which was a big key for us.”
It was a team effort at the plate for the Royals as nine different players drove in runs during the doubleheader.
Mortimer, Bronson Paetsch and Brady Robin led the way as they each had three RBI’s on Wednesday.
“A lot of it was just a continuation of what we did last weekend in Balgonie,” Mortimer said. “We were really clicking down there and we wanted to keep that level of play up today.”
Paetsch, Josh LacLaire and Nic Nye took to the mound for the Royals and combined to strike out 17 Beavers batters.
“The guys are moving in the right direction, which is what you want to see with playoffs and provincials coming up in the next few weeks,” Malenfant said.
The 14-7-1 Royals, who are now in first place in the North Division and third overall in the league table, will wrap up their regular season on Saturday as they’ll travel to Leakos Field to face the 14-6 Saskatoon Athletic at noon and 3 p.m.
The two sides squared off at Andy Zwack Field earlier this summer, with the Athletics picking up 16-3 and 6-1 victories.
“We have to be ready and prepared to face their fast pitching,” Mortimer said. “We haven’t been prepared for that the last two times we faced them, so we have to put in some extra work during batting practice so that we’re in the zone and ready for the challenges.”
“Our guys had some quality at bats against North Battleford and that’s something we need to do against Saskatoon,” Malenfant said. “It’s important to have that team first mentality and try to get on base however you can.”
The Royals playoff opponent and schedule is expected to be finalized following this weekend’s league games.