If the Nanaimo Pirates are going to win the championship, they will have to beat the very best teams.
The Hub City Paving Pirates, the Coquitlam Reds, the Victoria Mariners and the Langley Blaze are all going to the B.C. Premier Baseball League championships, a final-four tournament at Vancouver’s Nat Bailey Stadium starting Friday (July 29).
The M’s are defending champions, the Reds were runners-up to the Pirates in the pennant race and the Blaze are the PBL’s perennial powerhouse team. Langley represents the first challenge at the championships for Nanaimo, as the teams square off Friday at 5 p.m.
“We’ve historically done well against them and they’re kind of a cocky team. It’s nice to beat them,” said Liam Goodall, Pirates outfielder.
Ben Dunbar, Pirates catcher, said his team likes the matchup.
“It’s going to be a really good game. All year we’ve been battling against them…” he said. “It’s going to be a great time. It’s a really good stadium. I think it’s going to be a lot of energy and a really, really fun tournament.”
The tourney continues Saturday, when the Pirates will play at either 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. depending on the previous day’s result. The championship final starts at noon Sunday. Since the tourney is a double-knockout format, Sunday’s final could require a second game at 2:30 p.m.
To Pirates advanced to the final four by winning a best-of-three series against the Okanagan Athletics last weekend at Serauxmen Stadium.