Pitching leads Mariners to strong start

The Victoria Mariners won three of four home games at at Henderson Park last weekend, the club’s first home stand

Nathan McKinlay pitched a complete game shutout as the Mariners defeated the Coquitlam Reds 2-0 on April 22.

The only thing better than one ace on your staff is two – or three.

The Victoria Mariners won three of four home games at at Henderson Park last weekend, the club’s first home stand in the 2012 B.C. Premier Baseball League.

Nathan McKinlay took the mound for Victoria on Sunday morning and proceeded to throw seven shutout innings with six strikeouts, one walk and just two hits, as the M’s defeated the Coquitlam Reds 2-0.

It was one of two Mariners’ shutouts on the weekend, as Colton Wood threw five innings in an 11-0 blowout of the North Delta Blue Jays to start the four-game weekend on Saturday. It’s a good sign the Mariners have depth in the starting rotation. Of the three Mariners pitchers with more than one start (McKinlay, Wood and Erik Phillips), Wood has the highest earned runs average, at just 2.33.

“Everything’s going well right now,” McKinlay said. “Pitching and defence is really strong and we’re hitting well.”

With Mariners catcher Ty Russell leading the BCPBL in batting average (.560) and RBIs (8), it’s no surprise the M’s (6-2) are in second place. Only the Okanagan Athletics (9-3) are ahead, having played four more games already.

Sunday’s win was also the second time McKinlay (2-0) has thrown seven scoreless innings. The right-hander’s first start of the season went into extra innings tied at zero with the Nanaimo Pirates (6-2). No sooner had McKinlay been pulled from that game when an incident took place that saw both benches clear in a brawl, which led to numerous player ejections.

“I think we’re going to do well this season and we are a close group anyways,” McKinlay said. ”But the (brawl) brought us together a bit more (considering) how early it is in the season. We know we’ve got each other’s backs.”

Erik Phillips came on in relief, following the fireworks, and eventually earned the win in a 12-inning affair that ended 3-2.

Game day

On Saturday the Mariners host the Langley Blaze for a doubleheader, 12 and 2:30 p.m. at Henderson Park. Meanwhile the crosstown rival Victoria Eagles are in Coquitlam for two games on Sunday.

The outsider

McKinlay, a Grade 12 student at Oak Bay High, is the only non-Lambrick Park secondary student on the Mariners. He’s headed to Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas, on a scholarship, one of several Mariners going to junior college next year.

McKinlay was part of Victoria’s run to the final four in last year’s playoffs, in which they finished third.

Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Report estimates Saanich taxpayers face a preliminary tax increase of 4.73 per cent in 2020

Saanich staff also questions why council continues to ask for budget reduction scenarios

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Most Read