At the midway point of the season, the Fraser Valley Chiefs were fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs.
But in a slide that has seen them win just twice in their last 14 games, the B.C. Premier Baseball League team needs to find a way out of the slump quickly or miss the postseason tournament altogether.
Fraser Valley hosted the second place Nanaimo Pirates Tuesday afternoon at Whalley Ball Park, making up two games postponed by rain earlier in the season.
The Pirates, chasing the Langley Blaze for first place, eked out a 1-0 win in the opener, then completed the sweep with an 8-6 triumph in the rematch.
The two losses dropped the Chiefs to 19-24 (won-lost) record with five games to play. They trail Abbotsford Cardinals by one game in the race for the final playoff position.
The Chiefs did everything possible to win game one.
Ty Walker was outstanding on the mound, limiting the Pirates to two hits and a pair of walks. Nanaimo made the most of their two singles, putting them together for an unearned run after an error put a Nanaimo batter on base.
Walker allowed just two walks the rest of the way, but the Chiefs couldn’t get a timely hit when needed. Five times they failed to get a hit with runners in scoring position.
Fraser Valley managed five hits in the game, including a double from Mitch Dornblut and a triple by Jordan McComb.
While pitchers dominated the first game, the hitters had the edge in the second.
The Chiefs jumped to a 4-1 lead after three innings, only to have the Pirates cross the plate six times in the top of the fourth inning on four hits and a pair of Fraser Valley errors.
Brendan Dornblut had three hits for the Chiefs, with Dylan Rehmke and Garrett Hasner collecting two each. Ryan Pidhaichuk was credited with four RBI’s.
The Chiefs don’t play until next Wednesday (July 13) night, when they host Abbotsford for a 6:30 p.m. game in Whalley.
-The North Delta Blue Jays are at 13-21, two and one-half games behind the Cardinals, but with 14 games still on their schedule can make up some ground this weekend on Vancouver Island. They face the last place Victoria Eagles (9-24) in a double header Saturday, before a pair of games Sunday with the 22-15 Victoria Mariners.