The Nanaimo Pirates proved they could beat the best team, but then they were reminded they can lose to good teams, too.
The Hub City Paving Pirates (32-12) split a doubleheader against the Langley Blaze (37-7) on Thursday at Serauxmen Stadium. The Pirates edged the Blaze 5-4 in extra innings, but then lost 5-1 in the rematch.
“Overall it was a pretty good day of baseball,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “Having the two best teams playing on a nice day, a good field, there was a lot of intensity.”
The Pirates are masters of the walk-off win and it happened again in the eighth inning of the early game. Alex Rogers singled up the middle to score Crosby Rushton for the winning run.
Rogers, Justin Clarkson and Chris Faber each had two hits in the win and Bryan Odgers earned the win after one inning of relief.
Odgers then went on to suffer a loss, too, as he stayed on the mound to start the second game. He allowed five hits and no earned runs over five innings, but didn’t get much run support with Brendan McCarthy providing Nanaimo’s only hit.
Doug Rogers said his team didn’t bring the same attitude to the second half of the doubleheader.
“It seemed like the guys were content with that win … and then we just drifted,” he said.
Still, slowing down a hot Blaze team, even just a little, gives the Pirates some belief at an important time of year.
“When you take a game from them all of a sudden they’re mortal again and at least we can take that from [Thursday’s] game,” the manager said.
Clarkson said the win gives the Pirates confidence, and they’ll try to gain more momentum this weekend as they host doubleheaders at the stadium Saturday (July 21) and Sunday against the Vancouver Cannons and North Delta Blue Jays, respectively.
“We’ve got to use these [games],” Clarkson said. “We’ve got to go in there like we’re playing a Langley and get our swings in and hopefully take four.”
GAME ON … Start times this weekend are noon and 2:30 p.m. both days. Admission is $3 per game or $5 for a doubleheader.