Royals kick off spring with doubleheader split
Posted May 5, 2013
The Armena Royals had solid pitching performances from several of their young core as well as an outstanding day from annual hot starter Landon Miller (5-for-5 plus a walk) at the plate to earn a 4-3 win over last year’s provincial finalist Heisler Cardinals, before falling to the Camrose Axemen 7-3 in the night cap.
Miller got the start on the hill and gave up no earned runs in two innings of work. Kyle Ellis and Ian Sherbaniuk worked the middle frames before Adam Johnson nailed down the save. In a rough start defensively for the Royals, the first five runs of the day all were unearned.
The Royals rallied down 3-0 to take a 4-3 lead in the final frame before Johnson walked a couple and worked out of a jam for the win with two runners in scoring position.
Offseason addition Dean Prpick, a tall lefty that spent several years focusing on his hockey prowess, took to the hill and threw three scoreless innings in the second game versus the Axemen. The addition brings more depth to a Royals squad that has lacked that dearly in previous seasons.
Johnson threw two more, notching a memorable strikeout against his brother Kris, before aging veteran Jason Buzzell gave up three in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Buzzell after the game professed his pitching days were finally over.
The Royals offense was a bit rusty, but managed a three-run fifth inning to make the game 4-3. Prpick was picked off at third with one out that stalled the rally. Other than the fifth-inning outburst, the offense didn’t manage many other threats against the NCABL’s 2012 regular season champions.
Some more practices are planned with the Royals getting more bodies to bolster the lineup with Cole Tomaszewski and Clark Banack returning this week. Joel Boettger will also play part-time while seeding takes place before joining the team full time for the stretch drive again.