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Orillia Royals one win away from provincial championship

With four wins, two of the dramatic come-from-behind variety, the Orillia Royals need to win one of two games this weekend to capture a provincial title
2021-08-26 Orillia Royals Provincials
The Orillia 18U AA Royals are a win away from a provincial championship. The team includes, from left: Lucas Mackey, Nolan Ness Thomas, Owen Kaczanowski, Jhett Winkel, Owen Buckland, Chase Brennan, Aydan Hall, Whyatt Winkel, Kobe Geofroy, Wyatt Thompson, Teddy Mccolum Kuntz, Briar Decaire, Ben Barzo, Coaches Wes Winkel and Mark Kuntz.

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ORILLIA ROYALS
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The Wes Brennan Construction AA 18U Orillia Royals are one win away from capturing a provincial championship.

The Royals started off the unique COVID-modified four-team round-robin format with a game against Markham. Despite great pitching from Kobe Geofroy and Wyatt Tompson, the Royals trailed most of the game but overcame a 3-1 final-inning deficit to walk off the Markham Mariners with a two-out Owen Kaczanowski hit to score Teddy McCollum-Kuntz, winning the game 4-3.

The Royals then hosted Windsor on Saturday, Aug. 21 and were trailing 5-2 going into the final inning when they summoned some final-inning heroics. The inning started with a walk from Thompson. Briar Decaire came in to pinch run and after one ground out, the Royals received back-to-back singles from Whyatt and Jhett Winkel.

Teddy McCollum-Kuntz then dropped a masterful bunt single, allowing pinch runner Aydan Hall to score. After a fly out, the Royals were down by one run and down to their final out when Ben Barzo came up with a walk-off double to score Winkel and McCollum-Kuntz. The unlikely 6-5 win had the Royals leading the round robin. 

Game 3 had the Royals visiting the Oakville A’s on Monday, Aug. 23. The Royals played a great game and led from wire-to-wire for a 6-2 win. Thompson and Geofroy again were strong on the mound while Nolan Ness Thomas and Owen Buckland both chimed in with two hits on offence.

Two nights later the Royals travelled to Markham on Wednesday, Aug. 25 and once again played a strong game. Chase Brennan pitched well and reached base three times along with McCollum-Kuntz and Kaczanowski to claim the commanding 10-4 win.

The Royals now travel to Windsor needing to win one of its two remaining games this weekend to capture the provincial championship. The Royals play Oakville on Saturday, Aug. 28 and Windsor on Aug. 29. 

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