Story by Christian J. Stewart
July 24, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Mariners and Victoria Eagles will have to wait another day, or perhaps another season, to face each other in the BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) playoffs for the first time ever, as weather and BCPBL rulings have conspired to change their previously reported first-round match up.
The Mariners Mike Varley (left) and Eagles Sam Stevenson (right) will need to wait later this season, or perhaps until another year, to face each other in the BCPBL playoffs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles, who finished 6th, were looking as if they would play the Mariners, who were in 3rd and who were likely to stay there, as the second place North Shore Twins had two make-up games remaining against the last place Parksville Royals, one against the second to last North Delta Blue Jays and one against the first place Blaze.
By winning just one of those games, the Twins would fare no worse than second, however due to weird July weather and constant rain-outs, plus a pressing playoff schedule, the league decided that those games would not be played and assigned losses to all teams involved.
This, in some respects unfairly – since the Twins had a legitimate shot at taking first place away from the Langley Blaze – dropped the Twins into third place behind the Mariners, and as a result, they will now host the 6th place Eagles. “This is certainly not the way we wanted the season to end,” said the Twins via their Twitter feed this morning. “We lost the chance to finish first.”
The Mariners as a result, jump into second place and will now host the 7th place White Rock Tritons in their first round match-up at Henderson Park on Saturday.
They are also perhaps breathing a sigh of relief at not having to play their tough, crosstown rivals in Round 1, given that they are 4-0 against White Rock this season, while they went 2-2 against the Eagles with all four games, and six of their last eight match-ups all being decided by just a single run.
The Eagles now will face the Twins, a team they know they can beat, having won 3-2 in the final game of the year on Tuesday, but a team that also has beat them handily this year by scores of 8-1 and 12-0. Not that the Mariners would have been any easier, but the Eagles will now have to bear down and play their best baseball of the season if they are to have a chance at defending their 2013 Championship title.
An Eagles – Mariners match-up would have been the first time that the two teams have faced each other in the playoffs since the Eagles made their league debut in 2010. It also would have been the first time the teams met in a league or playoff game during the afternoon, as both teams usually meet on weekday evenings.
In other first round match-ups this weekend, the Langley Blaze – who finished first for the third year in a row – now host the Nanaimo Pirates, who won their way into 8th place in a tie-break game with Abbotsford earlier this week, while the 4th place Okanagan A’s will host the 5th place Vancouver Cannons. All teams play a double-header Saturday, with rubber matches as required, going on Sunday.
The rulings on the final game decisions can be found on the BCPBL home page at www.bcpbl.com