Baseball is a game of percentages, said Nanaimo Pirates manager Doug Rogers, and nothing works 100 per cent of the time.
Unfortunately for the Hub City Paving Pirates, the opposing teams fared a few percentage points better at provincials.
The pennant-winning Pirates suffered two straight losses Friday and Saturday at Vancouver’s Nat Bailey Stadium and finished out of the medal hunt at the B.C. Premier Baseball League championships. Nanaimo started with a 2-0 loss to the eventual-champion Langley Blaze, then dropped a 1-0 decision to the Coquitlam Reds the next day.
“In both games we faced both teams’ No. 1,” said Rogers. “We had really good at bats against both those throwers, but when it came to situations where we needed to move a guy or bunt a guy … it didn’t happen.”
Ace Kenton Schroter got the start in the tournament opener against the Blaze, and threw a complete game. Rogers said he thinks the Pirates were the better team except on the scoreboard.
“We had opportunities in every inning, left baserunners in every inning but one,” he said. “All it would have taken is one big hit to open the gates.”
Ben Dunbar had two hits to lead the Pirates in that game.
The second day was more of the same but with a more emotional finish, since it abruptly ended the Pirates’ season.
“It doesn’t take away from the year we had, but it’s disappointing for the kids. All of a sudden it’s over,” the manager said.
He tried to stress to the players that their pennant should mean more to them than provincials, since it’s a reflection of a 48-game season rather than one weekend tournament.
“How proud we are of what we did over a long stretch of time is what counts,” Rogers said.
And many of the Pirates get to come back and try for the big prize next year.
“You learn more from failure than you do from success and unfortunately we didn’t succeed here in this tournament,” Rogers said. “But the young guys are going to get way better from it.”
BASE LINES … The Hub City Paving Pirates were named the BCPBL’s Team of the Year, and Cody Andreychuk was also recognized for sharing the league lead in home runs in 2011. Outfielder Brendan McCarthy was selected to the all-conference first team and infielder Brady Rogers, outfielder Liam Goodall and pitcher Kenton Schroter were named second-team all-stars. Schroter was also one of two premier league players to win a Remarkable Performance award … Graduating Pirates include Andreychuk, Schroter, Mike Williams, Nick Smiley, Chris Faber and Crosby Rushton … The Langley Blaze won the provincial championship, defeating the Coquitlam Reds.