The Nanaimo Pirates have known all along that they needed all facets of the game going to win consistently. This past weekend they were able to put that plan in action, and they saw results, winning three out of four.
The Hub City Paving Pirates lost 5-3 and won 3-1 against the Whalley Chiefs on Saturday in Surrey, then swept the White Rock Tritons 4-1 and 8-5 on Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium.
The well-rounded baseball was noteworthy for a team that has been getting by at a .500 clip this year largely thanks to a prolific offence.
“It’s just not going to happen every single game, so you have to be able to rely on that pitching and defence,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.
He said pitchers are buying in to the idea that they have the advantage on the mound.
“A .300 hitter fails seven out of 10 times…” Rogers said. “If [pitchers] just throw strikes, they’re going to be successful.”
Garrett Goodall, Pirates pitcher, said he saw intensity at all positions, including on the mound.
“The pitchers were really confident,” he said. “We were really making sure of going after the hitters. That’s something we’ve really been working on.”
It helped that their defence was making plays behind them, not allowing four or five outs an inning.
“Make your outs when they’re presented to you, and for the most part, they were,” the manager said.
Goodall had a strong outing Sunday morning, throwing a complete game, allowing three hits, no earned runs and striking out five. Cole Warken led the offence, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
In the late game it was Warken again sparking the offence, going 2-for-3. North Rainey was the winning pitcher, allowing three hits and two earned runs over five innings while striking out six.
In Saturday’s win, Sam Baker threw a complete-game victory, giving up five hits, one run and walking only one batter. Warken and Shawn Arabsky were both 2-for-3 and Warken had two RBIs.
The first game of the weekend saw Nanaimo lose despite compiling 11 hits. Aaron Page had two singles and a double and Zach Diewert and Kevin Sengara were both 2-for-4 at the plate.
The Pirates get to go right back at it with their first midweek game of the season Wednesday (May 6) against the Parksville Royals.
“First evening game, first one against Parksville, first time we’ve really seen them,” said Rogers. “And now that we’re playing a little better baseball, it’s good keeping that rhythm.”
GAME ON … The Pirates play the Royals on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium.