VIBI Mariners hitter Greg Brady backs off from an outside pitch as catcher Jacob Senkoe reaches out to snag the ball at practice last week at the Serauxmen Sports Fields.

VIBI Mariners hitter Greg Brady backs off from an outside pitch as catcher Jacob Senkoe reaches out to snag the ball at practice last week at the Serauxmen Sports Fields.

VIBI getting into swing of things

VIBI may be on the upswing now in CCBC play, winning three out of four games on a road trip to Kelowna this past weekend.

The VIBI Mariners are digging in their cleats as baseball season heats up.

Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Baseball Institute club is looking forward to its first home games of the regular season this Saturday (April 11) and Sunday.

VIBI may be on the upswing now in Canadian College Baseball Conference play, winning three out of four games on a road trip to Kelowna this past weekend.

One things the Mariners are always working at is consistency. They’ve had some tough days at the ballpark, but other days, they’ve broken through.

“That was a big key for us, to play relaxed and do what we’re capable of and we’re finally starting to see that as a group,” said Connor Merilees, M’s outfielder, at practice last week.

At the plate, VIBI batters are swinging at better pitches, said Merilees, and guys are figuring out what works best for them individually.

“Facing the kinds of arms we’ve faced is a good way to help us wake up and get back on the right track and refocus and find a way to battle those guys and get to the bullpen earlier,” said Nick Salahub, assistant coach.

On the mound, he’s looking for his pitchers to have an even keel. Some starts a pitcher will be untouchable, and other starts he can’t get an out, said Salahub, and it’s all those other starts in between those extremes that make or break a pitcher’s season.

One trait the Mariners have shown the coaching staff is work ethic.

“Sometimes they work too hard to a flaw,” said Salahub. “Sometimes they listen to coaching just a bit too much and not try and find a way to win, they try and find a way to do what coach tells them to do.”

But hard work pays off, and the M’s are optimistic about the balance of the season.

“I think that up until now it’s just been growing pains, trying to get the right mindset at all times to try and help us perform as best we can,” Merilees said. “And I think we’re really starting to see a turn.”

Mariners score boatloads of runs

The M’s edged the Calgary Dinos 8-7 on Saturday to start this past weekend’s road trip, then beat the Okanagan Coyotes 10-6. On Sunday, VIBI blew out Calgary 14-4 and finished with a 9-7 loss to Okie.

In the first game, Riley Moskaluk was the winning pitcher after throwing 2 1/3 no-hit innings. Steve McKinnon was 2-for-3.

Kenton Schroter earned the win against the Coyotes, striking out seven over seven innings. McKinnon was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Merilees had two RBIs as well and Andrew Evernden was 2-for-4 and scored three runs.

In the blowout, Merilees was 4-for-4 with three RBIs, Bryce Crosbie was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Gobind Sall and Aidan Goodall were also 2-for-4. Tyler Ulrich struck out eight in a complete-game win.

In the loss, Merilees was 2-for-4 and Tyson Dyck had two doubles and two RBIs.

GAME ON … The Mariners host a four-game series against the Coyotes on Saturday and Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium. Saturday’s games are at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday’s game times are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Just Posted

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike ride event raises money for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read