The Nanaimo Pirates needed a win on the last day of the regular season. They got two, and also some good feelings as they head into playoffs.
The Hub City Paving Pirates swept the North Shore Twins 7-6 and 4-1 on Tuesday at Serauxmen Stadium.
“We took these as must-win games…” said Tristan Olsen, who hit a bases-clearing triple in the second game. “We wanted to come out here and do the best we could.”
It was a rough start for the home team as the Pirates got down 4-0 in the first inning of the first game. It was 6-3 for the Twins going into the bottom of the seventh, but the Pirates came back and Devon Geary hit a game-winning single.
“We pulled it out. That’s usually what we do,” Geary said. “We’re known for the last-inning heroics.”
There was relief and excitement to win that game and secure a playoff spot, said Geary, and the team kept up the energy and played well in the second half of the doubleheader, too. The score was 1-1 until Olsen’s triple in the sixth.
“You want to win going into the playoffs,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “You don’t want to limp in there, you want to show that you’re playing well, things are firing.”
Geary said after the game that the Pirates had momentum and confidence and felt as though they could beat whoever they got matched up against. They found out later that day that they would be taking on the Victoria Mariners, starting Saturday (July 20). The M’s (32-16) are the No. 2 seed and the Pirates (25-23) are No. 7, so the whole best-of-three series will be played down the Malahat.
“We’re a scary team to play right now because we have nothing to lose,” Rogers said. “And we have four good guys on the mound in a short series.”
BASE LINES … Luke Skingle earned the ‘W’ in the 7-6 victory, throwing a complete game. Zach Diewert and Aidan Goodall hit a single and a double each and Alex Rogers and Geary had two hits apiece … In the finale, Alex Rogers threw a complete game, striking out eight. He finished the season with 104 strikeouts, best in the premier league and ended up tied for first in wins with 10.