The Nanaimo Pirates will put their season on the line in a do-or-die rubber match.
The Hub City Paving Pirates and the Okanagan Athletics split the first two games of their B.C. Premier Baseball League playoff series Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium, setting up Game 3 today (July 25) at noon at the stadium.
The A’s surprised the Pirates 5-0 in Game 1, but the pennant winners responded with a 10-0 mercy-rule-shortened victory in Game 2.
“It’s a real tough thing when you’re expected to win and you get schooled, basically, in the first game,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “It’s really hard to recover from that and play at the same passion as you have all year after everybody’s down after the first game.”
But the Pirates immediately started stringing hits together in the second game and the whole dugout lifted.
“We came out with more energy, just more bats to the ball and getting base hits,” said Mike Williams, winning pitcher. “We put some baserunners on and our guys came through.”
In the first game, Kenton Schroter suffered the loss, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out eight.
The A’s didn’t hit him hard, but the ball seemed to fall where the Pirates outfielders weren’t.
For Nanaimo, Cody Andreychuk was 2-for-2 and Brady Rogers doubled off the wall.
In the rematch, Williams allowed only one hit during his six-inning shutout.
Andreychuk was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Alex Rogers also had two RBIs, Brady Rogers hit a single and a double and Liam Goodall had two hits and two runs scored.
The Pirates believe they now have the momentum back.
“I’d say we do have an advantage because we have lots of throwing left,” said Doug Rogers. “I don’t know what they have left and we have lots left.”
Nick Smiley is slated to get the start and the manager said even Schroter or Williams might come in to face a batter if the situation calls for it.
All told, the Pirates expect to get past the Athletics.
“They’ll be down after getting mercied by 10 runs,” Williams said. “So as long as we come out hard, they should go into a standstill.”
GAME ON … Today’s Game 3 starts at noon at Serauxmen Stadium. Admission is $3.