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Baseball Royals setting sites on playoffs
Despite missing seven tune-up games due to rainy weather, the Royals opened the regular season with a 3-0 record. Douglas swept a series from Olympic College 7-3, 1-0, 1-0 and grabbed second place in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community CollegesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ North Region.
Douglas is the lone Canadian team in the league and head coach Cavanagh Whitely is hopeful the fast start can help the Royals gain an elusive slot in the post-season for the first time.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our goal this year is to upset a couple of the Big Four - Skagit Valley, Edmonds, Everett and Bellevue - and get into one of the four playoff spots for the NWAACC Regional tournament,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Whitely.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team is young but we have a great mix of power and speed. Our offense is our strong point as we have shown the ability to score runs but we lack depth in the pitching department so every pitcher must contribute and stay healthy for us to have success.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Outfielders are expected to spark the offense, led by right fielder Chandler McLaren of Guelph, Ont, a Major League Baseball late-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009. Center fielder K. P. Hlatky of Gibsons, BC bats in the lead-off spot and displays the tremendous acceleration required in the position, and coincidentally leads the team in stolen bases.
Left-hander Sean Callegari of Richmond is laying claims to be the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pitching ace with a 3-0 record.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sean has improved a ton over the off-season and his velocity has jumped to the mid-80s with a great slider thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s difficult to pick up for hitters,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Whitely.
SurreyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sheldon Sinnott, shortstop, is another player to watch after transferring to Douglas from an academy in the Dominican Republic.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sheldon has the tools to play professional baseball and is learning to use them in a game,Ã¢â‚¬Â offered Whitely.
The Royals play their home games at Whalley Athletic Park on weekends in a season that runs at the end of May. Get the full schedule and latest team results at: http://www.ballcharts.com/teams/schedule.php?team=douglascollege