Pirates make last push for playoffs

The Nanaimo Pirates play the North Shore Twins on Tuesday (July 16) at Serauxmen Stadium in the final games of the BCPBL season.

A whole baseball season could come down to one doubleheader.

The Nanaimo Hub City Paving Pirates play the North Shore Twins on Tuesday (July 16) at Serauxmen Stadium in the final games of the B.C. Premier Baseball League campaign.

The standings are complicated, but the seventh-place Pirates (23-23) should be able to pin down one of the eight playoff berths if they win at least one game Tuesday against the tough Twins (29-15).

“We’re used to being higher in the standings,” said Doug Rogers, the team’s manager. “With this group we had all kinds of opportunities to solidify our spot and be comfortable going into the playoffs.”

The Pirates feel good about their game at this late stage of the season. The club spent this past weekend at a tournament in Centralia, Wash., where they won three of their four games and advanced to Monday’s playoff round but chose to withdraw and get ready for Tuesday’s games.

The manager said he expects his veteran players to respond well to the do-or-die doubleheader. As for the younger players, Rogers said he hopes they can try to relax and not let the pressure get to them, mentally.

“But pressure games are sometimes a real good thing, and if we get through, maybe we’re a little more dangerous come playoffs,” he said.

No matter what, Tuesday’s home games are the last of 2013, and the last-ever premier-league ball games at Serauxmen Stadium for some players.

“It’s always emotional for me and for those kids as well,” Rogers said. “Some of them have played four, five, six years in this stadium.”

GAME ON … Tuesday’s games are at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium. Admission is $5 per game or $8 for a doubleheader.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com