Coal Miners look for turning point

The Nanaimo Coal Miners didn’t quite get the bats around last weekend.

But they’ve got plenty of pop, and they’re ready to start showing it.

The city’s Pacific International League senior men’s baseball team hosts a doubleheader against the Victoria Mavericks this Sunday (June 12) at Serauxmen Stadium.

The Miners are coming off a road trip to Tacoma last weekend, when they lost all four against the Seattle Studs. Nanaimo dropped 7-1 and 8-4 decisions on Saturday, then got shut out on Sunday in 9-0 and 13-0 losses.

“It’s interesting, because Seattle didn’t seem all that much better than us,” said Dale Ballance, player-manager of the Coal Miners. “They had some pretty good pitching but we thought we could’ve been there. We threw the games away. We’re so rusty.”

With only 12 or 13 guys on the trip, said Ballance, it was tough to have the depth to play a four-game series against an opponent with 20 guys in their dugout.

But he saw a lot of positives, particularly the way the Coal Miners battled all weekend even when they were down in games. That attitude will serve them well, he said.

“It’ll be a different story down the road,” said Ballance. “It’s kind of a turning point for us … We took a couple of hard losses and we’re looking to bounce back.”

GAME ON … Sunday’s games at Serauxmen start at noon and 2:30 p.m. … In last weekend’s first game, Grant Vickers was 2-for-3 and Cole McKaig had the only RBI. The second game saw Mike Jones and Kris Small both go 2-for-3. In the next one, McKaig was 2-for-3, and in the finale, Bill Hadden went 1-for-2.