The Nanaimo Pirates scored a boatload of runs as they set sail on the 2015 season.
The Pirates split road doubleheaders against the Victoria Eagles and Langley Blaze to begin the B.C. Premier Baseball League season, losing 20-8 and winning 7-2 against the Eagles on Saturday and then losing 9-8 and winning 7-3 against the Blaze on Sunday.
Doug Rogers, Pirates manager, said his players were hunting the ball in the strike zone and attacking it.
“Everybody loves offence,” he said. “It’s a little tough on us as coaches – we like pitching and defence. But it’s a lot of fun to watch, no question. Even I get caught up in it when guys are hitting the ball around the park like that.”
Pirates pitchers struggled with first-pitch strikes and getting the leadoff man out in innings, but guys recognized some things they can do better.
“[It’s] not unexpected this time of year … you’re going to have some kids that are game ready and some that aren’t,” Rogers said. “It was nice that we bounced back in the second game of both days; that was impressive. Hopefully we’re on the right track now.”
Zach Diewert had a huge opening weekend, homering twice and totalling 11 RBIs.
He had a single, triple and three RBIs in the season opener at Victoria and Cole Warken also drove in three runs.
In the rematch, Garrett Goodall was the winning pitcher, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out seven in a complete game. Diewert had a home run and three RBIs and Shawn Arabsky, Matt Skingle and North Rainey had two hits apiece.
In Sunday’s early game, the Pirates led most of the way before falling. Josh Carless-Jones and Skingle had two hits apiece and Aaron Page had a double.
In the weekend finale, Diewert homered and singled and tallied five RBIs to lead his team. Rainey had three hits and two stolen bases and Warken had three hits and three runs scored. Page was the winning pitcher, throwing 4 1/3 shutout innings while striking out four.
The next action for the premier Pirates is their home opener Sunday (April 19) against the Abbotsford Cardinals.
“People who come out to the stadium are going to have a lot of fun watching this team, because we put up a ton of runs…” said Rogers. “Hopefully we get some people out there to see the new version here.”
GAME ON … Sunday’s start times are 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium.