Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Royals get acquainted, win first 5

Jeff Dahn        

JUPITER, Fla. – There are teams playing at the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship at the Roger Dean Complex whose members have played together all summer.

And there are teams that are essentially national showcase units, and were assembled to put as many top prospects together on the same roster and make a deep run for the World Championship title.

The Royals Baseball Club certainly belongs in the latter group, and there is just as certainly nothing wrong with that.

The Royals Baseball Club motored through pool play at the World Championship with a 4-0 record, then rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat the South Charlotte Panthers, 8-7, in the first round of the playoffs.

The Royals flashed their considerable talent and skills to advance to Sunday night’s quarterfinal round.

“This is a quality group of guys we have assembled,” Royals BC head coach Ken Munoz said. “They’re playing very good ball in the short period of time that they’ve played together.”

The Royals BC has players on its roster from Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsyvania, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, Maryland and Louisiana.

Their best-known pick-up is probably right-hander Michael Kelly (2011, Boynton Beach, Fla.). Kelly is ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 2 in the state of Florida in Perfect Game’s top prospect rankings, and pitched this past summer for the powerhouse Orlando Scorpions.

Other top prospects on the roster include outfielder Derek Fisher (2011, Rexmont, PA), who ranked 61-2, and left-hander Carlos Rodon, who is ranked 108-8.

The Royals have 10 players on their roster who have committed to 10 different Division I schools – Florida State, Virginia, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Alabama, Pittsburg, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and Southern Miss.

The Royals outscored their first five opponents at the World Championship by a combined 32-3.

“We expected to come here and compete, but with these kind of tournaments and so much talent, you never know,” Munoz said.

As the group continued to win and get to know one another, Munoz said their experience at the WWBA World Championship has been a positive one.

“It’s been a lot of fun. There are a lot of quality teams here,” he said. “I’ve coached (the Royals BC) here before and it’s a great tournament. It’s great for the kids and it’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents. So, yeah, it’s been a lot of fun.”

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