The Nanaimo Pirates weren’t able to outscore their mistakes on the weekend.
The Hub City Paving Pirates lost all four of their games in B.C. Premier Baseball League play, falling 8-3 and 7-6 to the North Shore Twins on the road Saturday, then losing 12-7 and 9-7 in their home openers against the White Rock Tritons on Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium.
“We’re disappointed…” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “Not so much with the effort, but the execution.”
The defence struggled, with multiple errors in every game.
“You just can’t win ball games when you are snowball fighting all over the field,” Rogers said.
He said he can live with the physical mistakes, which are bound to happen, but he said players need to limit their judgmental mistakes on the field and understand how the ball is likely to come at them in different scenarios in the game.
Chris Vlaj, Pirates catcher and infielder, said mistakes seemed to compound.
“It didn’t go well to begin with, our defence wasn’t working right and you could just see everyone’s confidence go straight down and it’s tough to dig out of that when everyone is making errors,” he said.
Even with their troubles, the Pirates put themselves in position to win, finding ways to score runs and come back in ball games. Nanaimo trailed 6-3 in the weekend finale, took a 7-6 lead in the fifth, but couldn’t hold off the visitors.
“There is some fight in them and with Nanaimo teams, historically there’s always been that pushback,” Rogers said.
Vlaj said the Pirates have to play with that kind of attitude.
“Compared to last year, we’re not filled with a bunch of guys that can just smash the ball all over the ballpark,” he said. “We’ve got to be a more gritty team; we’ve got to outwork our opponents.”
If they put in the effort, their problems are fixable, Rogers said.
“The upside of this whole thing is we have a lot of room to improve and as long as the guys buy in, we’ll be OK later on,” he said. “[But] it’s getting to the point where these close games, we need to find a way to win.”
In Sunday’s early game, Alex Jinda had two hits and two RBIs, Ryan Stich hit a single and a double and Garrett Goodall also supplied two hits.
In the second game, Thomas Leaf and Colin Borrelli each had two hits and two RBIs, Shane Rogers had a pair of RBIs and Matt Skingle was 2-for-3 at the plate.
The day before, Skingle hit a single and a double and drove in two runs in the early game, with Wyatt Strachan adding a pair of hits.
In Saturday’s late game, Vlaj was 3-for-3, Shane Rogers was 3-for-4, Strachan and Borrelli each had two hits and Goodall had a double and two RBIs.
GAME ON … Next B.C. Premier Baseball League action for the Pirates is Sunday (May 1) when the team visits the Langley Blaze in the Fraser Valley. Next home games in Nanaimo will be May 7 against the Twins.