The Nanaimo Pirates were pretty good at provincials, but they weren’t quite championship calibre.
The Hub City Paving Pirates were runners-up at the B.C. Premier Baseball League championships this past weekend in Victoria, losing 18-7 to the North Shore Twins in the final. Nanaimo won two out of three games in the round robin, then won Sunday morning’s semifinal to earn the right to play for a title.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “It would have been nice to finish it off winning the last game of the year, but that’s baseball, it happens.”
The Pirates’ championship hopes unravelled in the third inning against the Twins. North Shore, already leading 3-2, batted around twice in that inning and put 13 runs on the board before Nanaimo could manage three outs.
“It looked like it was going to go back and forth after the first couple innings, but that big inning, it just deflated us and you could tell that every ball that was hit was going to be an error made or it was going to drop in,” Rogers said.
It was a tournament of ups and downs. The Pirates started with two wins, defeating the Victoria Eagles 7-3 on Friday and edging Okanagan 2-1, but were blasted 22-4 by the Twins in the final game of the round robin. It meant the Pirates were matched up against the Eagles in the semi, and were able to emerge with a 5-2 win.
Nanaimo’s Josh Burgmann threw a complete game to start the tourney, striking out nine, and Aaron Page hit a three-run home run to lead the offence. Cole Warken, Zach Diewert, Garrett Goodall and Page had two-hit games.
Goodall tossed a complete game against Okie, with Shane Rogers and North Rainey contributing two hits apiece.
Josh Carless-Jones hit a single and a triple and Diewert also had two hits in the round-robin loss, with Robert Busch suffering the defeat.
In the semifinal, Rainey threw a complete-game four hitter. Matt Skingle hit a bases-clearing double to break the game open and Warken and Shawn Arabsky had two hits each.
In the final, starting pitcher Page took the loss. Warken and Goodall each hit a single and a double.
Pirates now become alumni
Seven players now graduate from the program – Diewert, Warken, Rainey, Arabsky, Page, Busch and Carless-Jones. Several will move on to U.S. college ball.
“These guys are now ready. I’ll be very excited to see how they do when they get down there. They should be top of their class,” Doug Rogers said. “I’m proud of the way they handled themselves over the course of two or three years. It was a special time for me and hopefully for them.”
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) August 3, 2015