Pirates win, shift focus to ‘game of the year’

Liam Goodall of the Nanaimo Pirates gets back to second base during a pickoff attempt in Thursday’s win over Parksville at Serauxmen Stadium.

Liam Goodall of the Nanaimo Pirates gets back to second base during a pickoff attempt in Thursday’s win over Parksville at Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo Pirates scored an important extra-innings win, but they know they need to be even better.

The Hub City Paving Pirates premier baseball team (12-2) won 1-0 against the Parksville Royals (11-4) on a damp Thursday night at Serauxmen Stadium.

Nick Granton’s hard single to centre field scored Cody Andreychuk from second base in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Pirates’ pitching was fantastic, as starter Kenton Schroter struck out the first five batters he faced and ended up sharing a no-hitter with Mike Williams and Colby Morgan.

“That’s impressive – all three of them did a great job,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.

But he wasn’t feeling as positive about the run support the Pirates hitters managed, as the home team tallied just two hits themselves.

“I haven’t seen a more anemic display of offence in a long, long time,” he said. “The pitching we saw wasn’t outstanding enough to make them look bad. So it’s from the shoulders up right now.”

Granton said for too much of the night, batters didn’t seem to have a clear approach at the plate.

“Later in the innings guys try to hit home runs, not do the little things to get on base and move guys over,” he said.

So the Pirates will try to reset and be ready for this Sunday (May 29), when the premier league’s first-placed Langley Blaze (18-3) visit Serauxmen Stadium.

“The team loves playing Langley,” Granton said. “We hype it up as the game of the year all the time.”

Earlier this season, the Pirates and Blaze split a doubleheader in the Fraser Valley that Granton said were the “most intense games I’ve ever been in.”

He expects the same thing this weekend.

“We need to come out with a lot of energy, execute, do the little things that we need,” he said. “And just be ready.”

GAME ON … Game times Sunday are noon and 2:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for a single game or $5 for both. Children 15 and under will be admitted free.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com