City gets big ball game

The Nanaimo Pirates play the Victoria HarbourCats on July 19 at Serauxmen Stadium.

It’s a whole new ball game for the Nanaimo Pirates.

The city’s B.C. Premier Baseball League team is looking forward to a special-event exhibition game this summer against the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League.

“Every kid I’ve talked to is so excited about it…” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “The HarbourCats are probably the highest level played on the Island in quite some time.”

The nine-inning game will be played at Serauxmen Stadium on July 19 at the end of the premier league regular season.

“It’s a game that will work well for us, leading into the playoffs, hopefully, if we’re in the playoffs,” Rogers said.

The Pirates will supplement their roster with recent alumni to make the game more competitive.

The HarbourCats will feature former Pirates players Alex Rogers and Griffin Andreychuk, as well as other high-level ball players, some of them NCAA Div. 1 guys.

“These are players that our kids want to be,” Doug Rogers said. “They’re aspiring to be D1 players and there’s a long road to that, but this is a measuring stick.”

Last season, a capacity crowd watched the HarbourCats play an exhibition game in Duncan, so the HarbourCats are continuing their initiative in reaching out to communities on Vancouver Island.

“This is a natural event, and the right thing to do not just for our organization but to grow the game on Vancouver Island,” said Jim Swanson, general manager of the HarbourCats.

To purchase tickets, please contact Jodi Rogers at 250-756-7899 or e-mail pirates.harbourcats@shaw.ca.

– with files from Black Press