The Nanaimo Pirates won close games and blowouts and played like a first-placed team.
The Hub City Paving Pirates (23-6) won all four of their B.C. Premier Baseball League games on the weekend. Nanaimo defeated the Fraser Valley Chiefs on Saturday at Serauxmen Stadium by scores of 3-2 and 6-0, then swept the Victoria Mariners on Sunday down the Malahat in 4-3 and 8-2 games.
“We’re down a lot of guys with injuries so it gave some of the bench guys some playing time and it was nice to see because it showed our depth,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.
“I know our starting nine’s excellent, but dipping into the bench that far is always a concern. You wonder what you’re going to lose but guys stepped up and played great.”
The first game was the tightest contest, as the Pirates eventually won the pitchers’ duel in the bottom of the eighth when Liam Goodall’s game-winning base hit got past a drawn-in Chiefs infield.
“He just had to hit the ball hard somewhere, which he did, and it found a hole and ended the game,” Rogers said. “That sort of propelled us into the rest of the games on the weekend.”
Goodall ended up 2-for-4 and Brendan McCarthy and Brady Rogers both hit RBI doubles. Kenton Schroter threw an eight-inning complete game, allowing two hits and one earned run.
The second game the Pirates’ offence really came to life with 11 hits. The two biggest came off the bat of Cody Andreychuk, who homered and tripled.
Andreychuk’s jack went a “mile high”, Doug Rogers said, before bouncing off the top of the left-field fence and over.
“That was a big one for us, obviously; he was thrilled – he sprinted around the bases like he was trying to steal them.”
Nick Granton, Brady Rogers and Alex Rogers added two hits apiece. Pitcher Mike Williams allowed four hits while striking out seven.
Sunday’s first game in Victoria ended up being a close one after the Pirates held the early lead. With the Mariners threatening in the bottom of the seventh, Pirates starter Nick Smiley struck out the last batter swinging. Smiley gave up four hits and two earned runs, striking out seven. He was supported offensively by Brady Rogers, who hit a bases-clearing double, and Alex Rogers, who went 2-for-3.
In the finale, Luke Skingle earned the ‘W’ on the mound, allowing only two hits and no earned runs over four innings. Goodall had a huge game with two doubles and five RBI. Ben Dunbar added two RBI, Joey Sabo went 3-for-4 and Nick Granton reached base five times.
GAME ON … The premier Pirates are on the road Saturday (June 25) and Sunday, visiting the White Rock Tritons (12-18) and the Coquitlam Reds (19-15) for doubleheaders.