The Mid Island Pirates spent their long weekend winning baseball games.
The Hub City Paving Pirates swept both their home doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium, beating the Fraser Valley Cardinals 3-2 and 5-1 the first day and then winning 3-2 and 10-0 against the White Rock Tritons the next day.
Mid Island (15-4) is now in first place in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
Pirates manager Doug Rogers said hard work continues to pay off.
“There were some lulls in there which you expect over a four-game set … we’re still building towards that energy for four games straight,” he said.
But even when the Pirates weren’t at their best, they were finding ways to win.
“It is exactly that. You can not play your best and because of your talent level and the system they’ve been taught, they can overcome and get a run when it’s absolutely needed,” Rogers said.
The Pirates are feeling good about their chances going into every game, and Rogers it’s preferable to have a confident group because he’s managed some sub-.500 teams in past seasons when it can feel like a season-long effort to try to instil confidence.
“We try to keep their confidence directed in the right way instead of coming to the field expecting to throw their gloves on and win a ballgame,” he said.
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In the first game of the weekend, Ryan Waatainen was the winning pitcher, striking out seven batters over six innings. Connor Caskenette had two RBIs.
In Saturday’s late game, Aaron Marsh led the way, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Josh Hill was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Marcus Steen was also 2-for-3. Dylan Brock threw a complete-game win, striking out nine.
Sunday’s action started with Mackinnon Homeniuk earning the win on the mound, allowing one earned run over five innings.
In the weekend finale, Brock was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Caskenette was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Waatainen also went 3-for-3. Wyatt Dorman drove in two runs and Matthew Simpson was 2-for-3. Jackson Stephen was the winning pitcher, allowing two hits over five innings.
The Pirates are on the road this coming weekend, visiting the Whalley Chiefs on Saturday, May 25, and then the Coquitlam Reds on Sunday. The Reds were in first place most of the spring but are now half a game back of the Pirates. Nanaimo hasn’t faced Coquitlam in exhibition or regular-season play, bur Rogers said the Reds have some quality players and can swing the bat and pitch.
“It’s one of those teams that we’re not going to have any problem getting up for,” he said.
GAME ON … Next home action isn’t until June 2, when the Reds and Pirates play a doubleheader at Serauxmen Stadium with 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. game times.