The Pirates didn’t win a championship banner to go with their pennant, but they’re still satisfied with a special season.
The Mid Island Pirates extended the B.C. Premier Baseball League season all the way to the B.C. final, where they were defeated 9-2 by the North Shore Twins on Sunday.
“For us to finish first in the league and be able to compete the way we did, it almost seemed like it was our year. With as many walkoffs as we had and as many unlikely comebacks and all that, it had one of those destiny feels to it … it wasn’t meant to be,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager. “I’m still extremely satisfied.”
The Hub City Paving Pirates went 2-2 at the championship tournament this past weekend in Vancouver. A 2-1 loss to the host UBC Thunder in the tourney opener made the Pirates’ path more challenging.
“We had to come through the tough part of the draw, which is hard, obviously,” Rogers said. “Every team in the final five is good and it’s taxing.”
The Pirates went on to beat the Coquitlam Reds 7-2 and then defeated the Thunder 2-1 in the semis to advance to play the Twins. Rogers said even with playing an extra game, his team went into the final confident in its pitching depth. Nanaimo scored two runs in the first inning and missed an opportunity to score even more, which the manager said came back to bite his team against the Twins.
“We just couldn’t hold them down. They were pretty tenacious,” Rogers said.
In the tournament opener, Dylan Brock threw six innings and allowed one earned run in a no-decision. The second game saw Ryan Waatainen throw a complete game, allowing no earned runs. Connor Caskenette went 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs and Jackson Stephen was 2-for-3. In the semifinal, Brody Deverill went 2-for-2 and hit the game-winning single that scored Wyatt Dorman. Josh Hill threw a complete-game one-hitter, allowing no earned runs while striking out six. In the final, Brock was 2-for-3 at the plate and Hill was 2-for-4.
The BCPBL handed out its year-end awards and the Pirates were chosen Team of the Year. Caskenette, Aaron Marsh and Stephen were chosen first-team all-stars and Marcus Steen and Brock were second-team all-stars.
Rogers said it was an “incredible year” and he will now step down from managing the club, something he said he would do one year ago before changing his mind. Coaching staff decisions will be made and announced at a later date.
“The biggest thing I want to see after the time I spent is to keep the culture the way it is right now…” Rogers said. “We do things right. We play the game differently. We play old-school.”