Ross prevails in all-Royals baseball encounter
GUELPH – The defending champion Ross Royals started their District 4/10 high schools baseball campaign with a 5-2 victory over the Centre Dufferin Royals of Shelburne Wednesday at Hastings Stadium.
“We’ve got a lot of new guys — three Grade 9s and a few seniors that were actually never on the team before,” Ross coach Iain Durk said of his squad. “I think we’re going to gel really well.”
Ross scored two runs in the second inning, two in the fourth and one in the fifth for the win. Centre Dufferin hung tough, scoring both of its runs in the third.
Ross made the most of four hits, all singles, but had eight batters walked and Centre Dufferin pitchers recorded six strikeouts. Ross pitchers had 12 strikeouts.
The league looks like it should be its usual tight affair this season. Any team caught napping will pay for it.
“We had a little mini exhibition tournament on Friday and from that, I think it’s going to be very close,” Durk said. “Every team’s got solid pitching. BM looks like the team to beat, possibly, but it’s still early and anything can happen. We’ll see.”
Pitching usually holds the key in high school baseball and Ross feels its in good shape with Andre Campbell and Jackson Wahl back from last year’s CWOSSA-winning team.
“They’re back, which is great,” Durk said. “It’s exciting. We’ll wait to see where the chips fall, but it’s exciting to have the new guys here.”
As is always the case, the first game of the season always gives teams an idea of what part of their game needs attention.
“I think we just need to have a few practices and talk a little bit about situation baseball – where we go with the ball during certain situations just so the guys get to know each other and how each other play,” Durk said. “That’ll come after a few games. Hitting is always one we have to work on and we’ll talk about bunting and sacrifices and that sort of thing, too.”
While Ross started the season as defending champions, Centre Dufferin began as returnees to the league following a year away. Centre Dufferin had finished third in the league standings in 2014, but lost in the quarter-finals and then went 0-6-0 in 2015 before taking last year off.
Centre Dufferin lost its season opener 13-0 to the Bishop Macdonell Celtics Monday at Orangeville. Centre Dufferin will play its home games at Orangeville’s Prince of Wales Park this year.
Guelph CVI 8 Centennial 1
Details not reported.
- Guelph Sports Journal