Pirates' batting order paces premier league
The Nanaimo Pirates have something like a Murderers’ Row in their lineup these days.
That was the nickname given to the New York Yankees’ batting order in the 1920s, which included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and others.
These days in the B.C. Premier League, the Hub City Paving Pirates have their own collection of hitters that should strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers.
The team’s collective batting average is .304, more than 25 points better than any other club in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
Griffin Andreychuk is second in the league with a .483 average, Brendan McCarthy is hitting .462, Chris Faber is hitting .407 and Ben Dunbar (.345), Ryan Smith (.333) and Justin Clarkson (.316) are also among the league leaders.
Doug Rogers, Pirates manager, said it’s nice to see the team hitting so well collectively, and he thinks the batting order is capable of doing even better at the plate.
Andreychuk said players aren’t too concerned about their averages.
“We just try to get the wins,” he said. “But it’s probably intimidating when their pitchers are trying to come at certain batters different ways.”
McCarthy, who leads the league in extra-base hits with seven, isn’t sure if the Pirates’ order scares teams.
“I obviously don’t know what the opponents are thinking,” he said. “But we’re putting a lot of hits together and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
Clarkson said he thinks opponents pay attention to the Pirates’ pre-game batting practice and know some hitters to watch out for.
“It’s a big intimidation factor to have guys like that to score you runs whenever you want,” he said.
Rogers said the Pirates are talented enough that they can find a way to get on base even when the opposing pitcher has his best stuff.
“We have some pretty versatile guys that can hit for power, can run, can bunt for base hits,” said the manager. “There’s no real way to shut us down.”
GAME ON … The Pirates play today (May 5) in New Westminster and Sunday in Coquitlam. The team's next home game is Wednesday (May 9) against the Parksville Royals at 6 p.m.