The VIU Mariners baseball team started the season with a little spring cleaning: a sweep.
Vancouver Island University’s baseball club won all four of its games against the University of Calgary Dinos to begin the Canadian College Baseball Conference season on Saturday and Sunday at Serauxmen Stadium.
The M’s won by scores of 7-3 and 6-4 on Saturday, won 6-5 in extra innings in Sunday’s early game and capped the weekend with a 4-3 victory.
“It was pretty good,” said Nick Salahub, VIU manager. “There’s definitely room for improvement there. We definitely didn’t play perfect there, but I think we took advantage of the mistakes and the opportunities they gave us.”
He said VIU’s defence kept things clean and the bullpen performed well, as expected.
“The hitting will hopefully come around. We’ve been doing better offensively than this weekend the whole year, so if that picks up to where it should be and the defence and bullpen stay where it is, we should keep doing good,” Salahub said.
He was happy to see guys rewarded for efforts so far in spring training, as he said the Mariners have become united through their hard work. The manager saw nervous excitement for opening weekend, but he said that should be the case when guys work hard toward the start of the season and then that day finally arrives.
“It’s a great way to start the season. I know there was a lot of nerves,” Salahub said. “We had a lot of guys in the game and a lot of guys had their first college experience.”
In the season opener, Nathan Wedgewood was the winning pitcher after throwing four innings of shutout relief. Dylan Kirby had three RBIs in his debut with the team, Liam Ballance went 3-for-3 and Bryan O’Hara, Brodan Bydeweg and Lucas Galloway each had two hits.
In Saturday’s late game, Galloway had two RBIs and Austin Hammond threw three innings of shutout relief for the win.
In Sunday’s early game, the Mariners won it in the 11th inning. Galloway had two hits and two RBIs and Devin Heck, Tanner Hess and Bydeweg also had two hits each. Jordan Moffat was the winning pitcher.
In the finale, Galloway had two hits and Jeremy Gamracy had two RBIs. Starting pitcher Tyler Ulrich threw five innings for the win.
GAME ON … The Mariners host the Okanagan Coyotes on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. Saturday’s games are at 12:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. and Sunday’s games are at 11:05 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. Admission is free.