On pace for a .500 season, Chiefs expecting more in second half

B.C. Premier Baseball League team chasing a playoff position

With two wins over the Parksville Royals Saturday afternoon at Whalley Stadium, the Whalley Chiefs tightened an already firm hold on a playoff position.

But the B.C. Premier Baseball League (PBL) team is expecting much more in the second half of their 44-game season.

The seventh-place Chiefs blanked the Royals 2-0 in the first game, then completed the sweep with a 9-3 victory in the second.

Whalley finished 12 games under .500 last season, and missed the playoffs by two games. Following the sweep of the Royals, the Chiefs are now 12-13 (win-loss), and three and one-half games up on the ninth-place Victoria Mariners. The top eight teams in the PBL qualify for the play offs.

“All things considered, we’re in a good position,” said Chiefs general manager Paul Hargreaves of the 12 wins tallied in the first half of the season. “It’s less than we thought, but we’ve had some serious injuries.”

Hargreaves listed pitchers Max Williams and Isaac Greer and second baseman Colin Kellington as players who have missed substantial playing time with injuries.

Kellington has had just one at-bat this season, while Williams has pitched just three innings. Greer has yet to take to the mound.

The Chiefs are playing at roughly a .500 pace without the trio, but all three are now healthy and will be available over the final 23 regular season games.

“We played an exhibition game in Bellingham yesterday (Sunday), and they all played,” Hargreaves said. “They’re all back, so it’s going to be great.

“Our second half record will be substantially better, I’d bet on that.”

Starting pitcher Thomas Espig again provided the Chiefs with a solid outing in the mound in the first game Saturday against Parksville. The Royals managed just one hit, and didn’t draw a walk against the 18-year-old left hander.

Espig took a perfect game into the seventh inning, and gave up a lead-off single before retiring the final three batters. He finished with 11 strikeouts, and now has the league lead with 47 on the season.

Espig also singled to score Ken Dubois in the third inning. Lucas Soper’s infield out allowed Lichel Hirakawa-Kao to score in the first inning.

The Chiefs buried Parksville with a 12-hit effort in the second game, led by Matt Legg with three, leaving him with five hits over the two games.

Soper, Lachlan Hunter and Braeden Massignani had two hits each. Whalley scored five times in the first inning and added three more in the second.

The Chiefs were scheduled to play last night in North Vancouver against the first place North Shore Twins (14-3). They will be on Vancouver Island next weekend, playing twice Saturday against the 4-14 Royals in Parksville, before a double header Sunday with the 15-11 Nanaimo Pirates.

Just Posted

Surrey-based business donates $1M to hospital’s children centre improvements

Surrey Hospital Foundation kicks off campaign for ‘transformation’ of children’s centre

OUR VIEW: Surrey’s unsung heroes inspire

The Now-Leader was proud to celebrate some deserving unsung heroes in this city on Wednesday night

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

Doug McCallum claims he can build the line for the $1.65 billion already committed to light rail

North Delta family raising money for brain cancer treatment

23-year-old Tashina Janus and her family are raising funds to get her immunotherapy in the U.S.

Surrey opera singer brings Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ to Vancouver stage

Nancy Hasiuk-Lay has been hailed for her ‘sparkling and crystalline vocal tone’

Surrey Community Leader Award winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Friends describe murder victim as ‘most caring guy we knew’

Jagvir Malhi of Abbotsford was not involved in gangs or criminal activity, they say

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Most Read