Grade 12 Lambrick Park baseball academy students Chris Lata

Premier Mariners expect big year from rookies on roster

Saanich's Victoria Mariners baseball team a tight knit group after a season of loss, loaded with talented rookies

After an unnerving season in which the Premier Baseball League Victoria Mariners lost teammate Zack Downey to non-Hodgkins lymphoma at 17 years of age, and Lisa Patterson, described as the “team Mom,” it’s little wonder the team is returning as a tight knit group this season.

“Team chemistry is through the roof, it’s the closest team I’ve ever been a part of and it feels like you’re playing for the guy beside you, not for yourself,” said pitcher Chris Lata.

The Mariners watched as the B.C. PBL season started last weekend, and the Mariners now host their own home opener with a double header on Saturday versus the North Shore Twins, 1 and 3 p.m. at Henderson Park. The Mariners are in Parksville on Sunday for a double header versus the Royals.

“Last year was a season of loss, it was a hard year,” said Mariners’ head coach Mike Chewpoy. “Lisa was always there, she did so much and she was really the team Mom, so to lose her right before Mother’s Day, and then lose Downey a few weeks later was brutal all around.”

Lisa’s son, Jeremy Patterson, returns at second base. He’s the only Grade 12 on the team who doesn’t have a playing spot lined up at a post secondary school for next year, but that’s out of his own desires, as Chewpoy said he’s certainly capable.

“I’ll stick around, maybe work a bit and just take a year off before I move on,” Patterson said.

Baseball was big for him last year, he added, as it gave him an outlet and a place to be during his time of grief.

The Mariners finished second in the PBL standings but lost in the playoffs. They’re gunning for another top-four finish, even with a long list of PBL rookies, Patterson said.

“We had a good team last year but even with a lot of rookies this year we expect to be strong, the new guys are really talented.”

Some of the rookies are actually in Grade 12, which is the second year eligible for PBL, including pitchers Nolan Bruce and Cole Russell.

“It might be their first year in premier but they have been in the academy and in the junior program for two years, they’re ready to go,” Chewpoy said. “We have a shortstop, Jason Willow, he’s been groomed since Grade 8 and he’s only in Grade 10. The key is all our guys are ready.”

Patterson is of the newest generation of premier league players who don’t know what it was like to have one team in town. He chose to join the Mariners junior team in 2013 over the Eagles. Patterson is one of many Mariners enjoying the unique coexistence with Eagles players in the Lambrick Park baseball academy.

Among the Mariners in the baseball academy are a pair of imports, Jackson Belanger and Nate Seltsam. Belanger’s parents recently transferred here from Prince George for work, and Seltsam comes from Utah for a chance to play baseball while upgrading at school, Chewpoy said.

“Belanger just fell into our lap and he just happens to be extremely talented, and Seltsam played summer ball for a coach at Salt Lake College that knows (former Mariner) Chris Fougner.”

Imports show up from time to time but aren’t a regular occurrence,

Chewpoy added. “Our season is already a success, every senior has a place to go in post secondary.”

That list includes Bruce, Russell, Belanger, Seltsam, Jake Bosence, Sam Glowicki, Nick Dawson, Brett Irvine and Mike Varley.

In good hands

Mariners premier outfield rookie Sam Glowicki led the B.C. Junior PBL in runs batted in last season with 45, which was 14 more than the next player. Fellow rookie Tyler Schindel had 30 RBIs (third overall) and led the league with 35 stolen bases.


Just Posted

Local NDP MP rejects narrative that his riding for the Greens’ picking

Greens face a challenge when it comes to military issues, says Randall Garrison

ArtSea Spring studio tour set to be bigger and better than ever

30 artists to open their studio doors to the public

United Way car enjoys free parking thanks to kindness of a stranger

Act of kindness saves Oak Bay councillor from parking ticket

Police hand site of former hotel destroyed by fire back to owners

Caretaker still unaccounted for, investigation continues in wake of May 6 blaze

St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church hosts open house, spring cemetery clean up

Learn more about the region’s oldest cemetery May 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Most Read