The Nanaimo Night Owls go into the second half of the season the right way – as one of the hottest teams in the West Coast League.
Nanaimo’s collegiate summer baseball team recently completed the first half of the WCL season with a 14-13 record, good for fourth place in the North Division and well in playoff contention.
Including exhibitions, the NightOwls had won five straight ball games as of press time.
“I think the team’s in a good place,” said coach Greg Frady. “Their confidence is good, I think the kids want to be here and it’s exciting to see them play like this.”
The NightOwls are averaging nearly six runs a game, with more than half a dozen players batting over .300 including Riley Paulino batting .389, Wylie Waters batting .379 and Reid Little at .356. Ethan Rivera is second in the league in home runs with four.
Relief pitcher Bear Pinedo has three saves and has tallied 18 strikeouts and given up just one hit total in his 10 innings of work, while Payton Robertson’s three wins lead the team.
The coach said the NightOwls have pitched well, staying in the strike zone and giving up very few walks, and pitchers have been supported with good defensive play behind them. At the plate, batters are cashing in two-out RBIs and getting other timely hits.
“It takes a long time for coaches to figure their brand-new players out, what they can do, what they need to improve on, how to do things, and I think we’ve played our best baseball here in the last 10 days,” Frady said.
Under the WCL’s playoff format, first-half and second-half pennants are awarded in each division, and two wild-card teams in each division will also make the post-season.
“The goal is always to be a winner and put ourselves in a position to be in the playoffs,” said Frady. “If you ask me what’s going to happen, I’m going to say, come to the game and we’ll see. It’s baseball. No one knows what’s going to happen in baseball – you have to earn it.”
GAME ON … The NightOwls start the second half of the WCL season on the road against the Walla Walla Sweets from Friday to Sunday, July 7-9. Next home action is Tuesday through Thursday, July 11-13 when Nanaimo hosts the Wenatchee AppleSox for a three-game series at Serauxmen Stadium. Game time is 6:35 p.m. all three nights and ticket information can be found at http://nanaimonightowls.com.
Last night's Nanaimo-versus-Nanaimo matchup wasn't close, with the NightOwls shutting out a men's select team 9-0 in front of a good crowd at Serauxmen Stadium. Tonight's rematch is at 6:35 p.m. …— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) July 5, 2023
(📷GregSakaki/NewsBulletin) #baseball pic.twitter.com/XG3osOVFB0