The Hub City Paving Pirates had just the sort of home opener they would have hoped for.
The first game of the season at Serauxmen Stadium saw the Mid Island Pirates shut out the Victoria Eagles 6-0.
It was the only victory of the weekend for the Pirates, however, as Nanaimo was swept 10-2 and 5-4 by the Parksville Royals on Saturday on the road, and the Eagles won Sunday’s late game 4-2.
“Guys have got to learn and you’ve got to put them in these spots to get game experience, so they gained some and came out better today,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.
The winning pitcher in Mid Island’s home opener was Jackson Stephens, who threw a complete game. Rogers said the pitcher was “outstanding” and did the sort of things it takes to have success.
“You work quickly, you throw strikes and you change speeds and he did all those things and just mowed,” Rogers said.
Stephens said he was pitching to contact.
“I was just throwing strikes and letting the defence do the work,” he said. “Lots of good plays were made both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball for our team.”
The early part of the season isn’t just about wins and losses – Rogers said coaches are continuing to find out what players can do in game situations. There’s also a lot of learning and gaining experience and confidence.
“Confidence is a big thing, so they’re gaining a little bit at a time and today should go quite a ways for some of the kids,” Rogers said.
In the early game Sunday, Mackinnon Homeniuk had two RBIs and Drew Hnatyshyn had two hits. In the rematch, Hnatyshyn had a hit and two walks and Homeniuk suffered the loss on the mound.
Statistics from Saturday’s games weren’t available at press time.
GAME ON … The Pirates visit the Victoria Mariners for a doubleheader Saturday, April 21.