Grand slam helps Pirates keep pace

The Nanaimo Pirates (29-8) won three out of four road games over the long weekend in BCPBL action.

The Nanaimo Pirates think an extra-innings win on the weekend will lead to more good things over the final month of the baseball season.

The Hub City Paving Pirates (29-8) won three out of four road games over the long weekend, splitting a doubleheader Sunday against the Victoria Eagles and then sweeping the North Shore Twins on Monday.

The highlight was the early game Monday, when the Twins and Pirates required extra innings to settle a 1-1 tie. After loading the bases in the ninth, Nate Odgers hit an inside-the-park grand slam home run.

“It was hammered. He hit it over the centre fielder’s head and it’s a long ways to the centre field fence,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.

The throw was relayed to home plate, but Odgers slid in safely.

“It was pretty cool to see,” said the manager. “He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face the rest of the day.”

That win, in which the Pirates tied the game late and eventually got to a tough pitcher, could be a “turning point,” Rogers said.

“It just seemed to turn our team around as far as their mannerisms and confidence level.”

Colby Morgan threw a nine-inning complete game in that one and in the rematch the Pirates busted out with 14 hits in a 13-1 mercy-rule win.

Bryan Odgers led the offence in the second game with a single, double, triple and two RBIs, Brendan McCarthy had two hits and three RBIs and Ben Dunbar and Justin Clarkson both had two hits and two RBIs. Ryan Smith had a pair of hits and Nate Odgers reached base three times. Alex Rogers got the win on the mound.

The day before, the Pirates lost 9-3 to the Eagles but responded with an 11-8 win in which they amassed 13 hits.

Luke Skingle suffered the loss, with McCarthy going 2-for-4 at the plate.

In the barnburner win, McCarthy had two hits and three RBIs – the slugger had two hits in all four weekend games – and Dunbar had two hits and two RBIs. Nate Odgers, Justin Clarkson and Ryan Smith had two hits apiece and Crosby Rushton and Chris Faber drove in two runs each. Bryan Odgers was the winning pitcher, striking out five over seven innings.

GAME ON … The Pirates play the Parksville Royals on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium and then play a tournament in Skagit Valley, Wash. starting Saturday (July 7).

sports@nanaimobulletin.com