Pirates enter defining stretch

The Nanaimo Pirates (18-4) have played the fewest games in the BCPBL. This coming weekend (June 9-10), they start making up those games.

Nanaimo Hub City Paving Pirates pitcher Luke Skingle throws at practice on Tuesday night at Serauxmen Stadium. The Pirates play at home Saturday (June 9) and Sunday.

Nanaimo Hub City Paving Pirates pitcher Luke Skingle throws at practice on Tuesday night at Serauxmen Stadium. The Pirates play at home Saturday (June 9) and Sunday.

The Nanaimo Pirates know they’re a good team, but they don’t know exactly how good they are. That’s because they don’t yet have a large enough sample size.

Due to scheduling quirks, the Hub City Paving Pirates (18-4) have played the fewest games in the B.C. Premier League, and have eight or nine games in hand on some other teams.

This coming weekend (June 9-10), the Pirates start making up some of those games. Nanaimo is at home for doubleheaders against the Coquitlam Reds and the Abbotsford Cardinals.

“We’re going to have to be sharp – the standings are getting close now,” said Ben Dunbar, Pirates catcher.

And the Reds (13-14) and Cards (14-12) are both capable ball clubs. Pirates manager Doug Rogers said he doesn’t expect those teams to be hovering around .500 all season. Abbotsford has some particularly strong players and proved its worth last month, beating Nanaimo en route to winning the B.C.’s Best tournament in Parksville.

Coquitlam and Abbotsford have each defeated Nanaimo once so far this regular season.

“We’ve made a team goal over the year that we’re not going to lose a [season] series to anyone … so I think it’s huge for us, just as a team, not even in the standings,” said Dunbar. “It’s just huge as a morale booster to win both these series and show that we’re the best team.”

To be the best, the Pirates will need to meet the challenge of this defining stretch of the schedule. They think they’re well-equipped for the task.

“I’m pretty happy with where we are, although I’ll never let them know it,” Rogers said.

GAME ON … The Pirates host the Reds on Saturday (June 9) at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium. Sunday’s games are at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the stadium … Admission is $3 per game or $5 for a doubleheader … The Pirates are seeking game-day volunteers for July and August. For more information, please e-mail kylec.anderson23@gmail.com … To read about the premier Pirates’ most recent victory, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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