Two of the B.C. Premier Baseball League’s best teams clashed, and the Nanaimo Pirates got the better of the collision. The Hub City Paving Pirates (24-6) won three out of four games in Kelowna on the weekend against the Okanagan Athletics (24-8).
Nanaimo won Saturday by scores of 9-4 and 3-2, then won Sunday’s early game 8-3 before dropping the finale 6-1.
Pirates manager Doug Rogers said the team probably played its best weekend of baseball all season.
“All parts of the game, at least for the first three games, were outstanding,” Rogers said. “Pitching and defence, obviously, but on top of that was timely hitting, two-out hitting with guys in scoring position, those key elements that put you over the top in close games or break you away from a close game.”
In the first game pitcher Luke Skingle (8-0) improved on his league-best win total, getting offensive support from Ben Dunbar, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Brendan McCarthy, who had a hit and three walks.
The second game Bryan Odgers threw all eight innings and the game-winning hit was Justin Clarkson’s RBI double in the eighth. Rogers actually gave Clarkson the bunt signal, but the batter didn’t see it.
“Team rule, you miss a signal, you’re going to catch it a little bit afterwards,” said the manager. “I still gave it to him anyways, but it was more joking. I wasn’t mad.”
Pitcher Colby Morgan got the win in Sunday’s first game, allowing no earned runs in a complete game. McCarthy, Alex Rogers, Griffin Andreychuk and Dunbar had two hits each and Brady Rogers and Ryan Smith supplied two RBIs apiece.
In the finale Alex Rogers suffered the loss and Crosby Rushton had a hit, a walk and a stolen base.
GAME ON … The Pirates play the Victoria Mariners on the road Sunday (June 24).