The Lambrick Park Royals closed out another championship season in the senior men’s South Island Baseball League with a 3-0 win over the Carnarvon Dodgers to sweep the best-of-three final series in two games last Tuesday (Aug. 5).
The Royals had won Game 1 of the final 8-4 one night earlier.
It’s the third time the Royals (2010 and 2011) have won the South Island championship since the league started five years ago. It also came as a bit of a surprise as the Royals (8-7) used some clutch hitting and to knock first place Layritz (13-2) out of the semifinals.
Layritz was the clear favourite as the Royals were one of three teams with an 8-7 record in the regular season standings behind Layritz.
Add to that the Royals dropped the first game of the best-of-three semifinal agains Layritz, at which point the odds were stacked against them. The Royals’ were down 2-0 in Game 2 of the semifinals and were on the verge of elimination when they Royals clawed back to tie it 2-2.
Everett Fisher won it in the seventh (and final) inning when he dropped a Texas-leaguer between the infield and outfield to push the Royals ahead 3-2 and tie the series 1-1. From there, the Royals surged ahead and ran up a 10-1 lead in Game 3 against Layritz. The latter punched six home in the bottom of the seventh, but fell just short of the comeback, as the Royals won 10-7.
“There was no official MVP for the playoffs but it would have gone to Royals pitcher Andrew McGarvey, he was lights out on the mound,” said fellow Royal Dave Wight, who carries an unofficial assistant coach role with the team. “McGarvey pitched three of the six playoff games, a total of 20 innings, with just two earned runs. Dominant.”
Wight chipped in too, smashing a two-run home run in the final series, a big momentum shift and a rare feat for players in the SIBL league.
The Royals started up eight years ago in the Mavericks league before dropping into the GVBA circuit, though four of the original members remain.
“A lot of guys have moved or have started families,” Wight said.
The league is described as a junior circuit, as it is part of the Greater Victoria Baseball Association, and slightly less-competitive than the Mavericks league.