Grade 12 Lambrick Park baseball academy students Chris Lata

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

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read