The VIBI Mariners went out on the road looking to turn their season around, and they started to do just that.
Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners won two of four games in Kamloops on the weekend. VIBI outscored the Calgary Dinos 14-11 in the opener Saturday, then lost 6-1 to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in that night’s late game. On Sunday the M’s were edged 7-6 by Calgary but finished up with a 5-2 victory over TRU.
“We’re steadily finding things to be easier, getting a little better at some things,” said Jordan Blundell, VIBI manager. “There’s still some things we’re leaving on the table. We do need to clean up our defence and we do need to clean up a few other things.”
Amid all the offence, Blundell said some of the highlights of the weekend came on the pitching mound. Cody Chartrand had a strong outing in the 6-1 loss, allowing three earned runs over six innings while striking out eight. With scouts watching, Chartrand’s fastball was between 87-91 miles per hour all night and touched 93.
In the weekend finale, veteran Reiley Grose willed his team to victory.
“Reiley stepped up and flat out beat TRU…” said Blundell. “That was obviously in his mindset coming into the weekend that he would pitch like that.”
Connor Russell was the winning pitcher in the barnburner game, allowing four earned runs over six innings while striking out eight. Darren Kolk hit a single, double and triple, driving in four runs and also stealing two bases. Tim Scarr also supplied four runs batted in, while Dallas Monk had two hits, three RBIs and four runs scored. Will Lamb Jeremy Harasymchuk, Cody Andreychuk and Ty Armstrong all had two hits apiece.
The next game Kolk, Tyson Dyck and Chad Schultz each had two hits.
In the one-run loss, Austin Penner allowed three earned runs over four innings. Monk and Connor Merilees were both 3-for-4 at the plate and Kolk was 2-for-3.
Monk and Jackson McCuaig both hit singles and doubles in Sunday’s win.
GAME ON … The M’s return to Kamloops for games Saturday (April 13) and Sunday against TRU and the Okanagan Coyotes.