Pirates will dig deep to try for wins

The Nanaimo Pirates will see what they’re made of, now that they’re experiencing stormy seas for the first time this season.

The Nanaimo Pirates  will see what they’re made of, now that they’re experiencing stormy seas for the first time this season.

The Hub City Paving Pirates (19-6) premier-league baseball team lost three out of four games on the weekend in the Okanagan.

“We had a lot of kids hurt and a lot of kids sick,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “It’s an excuse, but it’s a legitimate one.”

One or both of catcher Ben Dunbar and outfielder Brendan McCarthy could return to the lineup this weekend, but pitcher Nick Smiley will be out longer.

“Hopefully we get some bodies back and get back to what we were doing before,” Rogers said.

Losing four of their past five isn’t what the Pirates envisioned, but they understand that their torrid .900 winning percentage earlier this season was unrealistic over a 48-game schedule.

“Every team goes through a stretch like this. There’s no way we could maintain the record we had. In baseball it just doesn’t happen,” said the manager. “It’s a matter of better teams stopping that slide quicker than the teams that can’t, and that’s going to separate us.”

The Pirates, who are still in first place in the B.C. Premier Baseball League, prepare to host the fourth-place Fraser Valley Chiefs (17-13) on Saturday (June 18), then they visit the third-place Victoria Mariners (17-7) on Sunday. Both those foes also play the fifth-place Parksville Royals (15-12) this weekend, so the standings could be in for a shakeup.

“[It’s] going to go a long way to determine where a lot of teams finish this year,” said Rogers.

GAME ON … Saturday’s games against the Chiefs start at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Serauxmen Stadium.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com