The Nanaimo Pirates came up with a big win over the Langley Blaze.
The Hub City Paving Pirates split a doubleheader against their rivals on Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium, losing the early game 3-2 in extra innings and then winning the rematch 12-7.
“Overall we played not our best today,” said Josh Carless-Jones, Pirates outfielder. “We didn’t come out strong in the first game but we battled back in the second game. Our sticks were really working today but we just didn’t seem to close it out today and that’s something we need to work on.”
Pirates manager Doug Rogers said he wasn’t happy with how the team played against the Blaze.
“It was fun for the fans – the first game goes to extra innings, this one, a lot of offence,” he said. “It’s fun to watch, but from a baseball standpoint, I’m disappointed in the way we played throughout the entire day.”
Rogers said pitching and defence weren’t sharp enough in the first game, and said the Pirates lacked killer instinct in the second game when they built leads.
“We need to get that attitude about us that Langley used to have all the time when they’d play. They would beat you up and they wouldn’t let you get off the mat,” Rogers said. “The guys haven’t been in this situation before – not being the underdog, being the better team than most teams that come in here. They’ve got to get used to that. They’ve got to have that swagger.”
In Sunday’s early game, Cole Warken supplied the offence with a two-RBI single.
In the late game, Carless-Jones led the way, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and hitting a home run over the green monster in right field. Warken was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Shane Rogers was 3-for-3 with two doubles, Chris Vlaj had two RBIs, North Rainey had two hits and two runs scored and Shawn Arabsky went 2-for-4. Garrett Goodall threw four innings for the win.
After the games against their No. 1 rivals, the Pirates now play their next five games against Island teams and will try to keep the intensity high.
“We just need to bear down in the late innings and work hard and put our foot down full-throttle,” Carless-Jones said.
GAME ON … The Pirates visit the Parksville Royals on Wednesday (May 20) at 6 p.m. at Springwood Park. Nanaimo then travels to play the Victoria Mariners on Saturday before returning home Sunday to face the Victoria Eagles at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) May 18, 2015