Nanaimo Pirates pitcher Garrett Goodall throws against the Langley Blaze earlier this season.

Pirates look forward to tournament play

The Hub City Paving Pirates take a break from the B.C. Premier Baseball League season with an exhibition tournament in Langley.

The Nanaimo Pirates hope to get on a hot streak at the Langley Blaze Invitational.

The Hub City Paving Pirates take a break from the B.C. Premier Baseball League season with an exhibition tournament in the Fraser Valley this weekend.

Doug Rogers, Pirates manager, said tournament play allows the team to test some things, on the basepaths, for instance.

“Here you can fail a little bit and it doesn’t cost you in the standings,” he said.

At the same time, the Pirates will be tested, placed in a strong pool that includes the tough North Shore Twins and Victoria Eagles, as well as Alberta’s Okotoks.

Rogers said two years ago, the Pirates were a middling team at mid-season, found their game at an exhibition tourney in Centralia, Wash., and were nearly unbeatable the rest of the summer.

“It happens all the time in baseball and we’re hoping that this sort of does the same thing for us,” Rogers said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Pirates pitcher Sam Baker said he remembers how tournament action last season benefited the team.

“It really helped us bond as a team going on the road and that helped us for the second half of the season, so I hope that will be the case,” he said.

Nanaimo’s first game is against North Shore on Thursday afternoon (May 28). The Pirates hope to still be playing come the semifinals and finals on Sunday.

“We always want to win, but mostly for the tournament it’s about getting going as a team and feeling that we’re playing well more than anything, more than the results,” Baker said.

GAME ON … Next league action for the Pirates is June 7, when the Whalley Chiefs visit Serauxmen Stadium for games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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