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SPORTS

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Coal Miners make semis

I

SENIOR MEN finish third at provincials.

The Nanaimo Coal Miners showed they could beat the best in the province, but they still had to settle for a third-place finish at provincials. The Cross & Co. Coal Miners won two of their four games at the Baseball B.C. senior men’s championships in Prince George over the long weekend. The Miners started the tourney with a 4-2 loss to the Trail Orioles, then hammered the Kelowna Jays 13-4 and shut out the Langley Blaze 8-0 to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament with the No. 1 seed. In Monday’s semifinal, the Blaze, eventual B.C. champions, defeated the Coal Miners 4-1. The highlight of the tournament came in Sunday’s shutout win over the Blaze. Coal Miners pitcher Darren Kolk threw a no-hitter in the seveninning contest, striking out six batters. Throwing in 35-degree

heat that day, Kolk kept the opposition off-balance with a mix of fastballs and sliders. He also led the charge offensively, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Greg Wallace hit a home run in that game and Jeff Vickers had two RBIs. In the next day’s rematch, however, offence was tough to come by as the Coal Miners managed five hits total against a Blaze pitcher who had good stuff. Joey Benda suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs on five hits in a complete game. In the first game of the tournament Ben Cairns led Nanaimo, going 3-for-4, and Kolk was 2-for-4. Dale Ballance was the pitcher of record. In the blowout against the Jays, Benda was the winning pitcher. Devon Franklin and Charlie Strandlund hit home runs, Kolk was 2-for-2 with three runs scored, Ballance hit a single and a double and Cairns also had two hits. Next summer’s B.C. championships will be held in Victoria.

Thursday, August 9, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin

B3

Raiders gain confidence from season-opening win ◆ From /B1 Raiders defensive players said coaches had them wellprepared for Victoria’s rushing attack in the first half. Matt Blokker said his D did a good job limiting Rebels star tailback Greg Morris. “I don’t think he had a whole lot of carries for big yards; he didn’t have any big rips against us and we stopped him in the pass,” Blokker said. “Our game plan was to make the other guys beat us.” The Raiders’ offence came largely through the air and appeared crisp for Week 1, though Jordan Yantz thought it could have been better still.

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V.I. Raiders kick returner Dustin Rodriguez is tackled by a Victoria Rebels player.

“I could have been hitting a couple more guys in the hands when it was going over their heads,” he said. “There were a couple nice plays that receivers made, a couple nice throws, a couple nice runs by Ashton [Galloway]. The end result was pretty good.” The Raiders recognize there’s work to be done. The kick return unit had some issues and fumbled twice, and Blokker also lamented a couple of ill-timed penalties on defence. But the V.I. team will be in a better position to work on those things now that it’s gotten some game action, some film, and a win in the standings.

“Now we’ve played live, now we’re going to have a little more confidence in ourselves as a team,” Blokker said. “It’s a lot of pressure for these guys in the beginning, to live up to what it’s like to be a Raider.” Shane Stonehouse called the victory Step 1 in a long season. “We’re going to improve and we’ve just got to work our best to become the best team we can possibly be,” he said. GRID BITS … The Raiders’ home opener is Saturday (Aug. 11) when the Langley Rams visit Caledonia Park for a 5 p.m. kickoff. sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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Nanaimo News Bulletin, August 09, 2012  

August 09, 2012 edition of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nanaimo News Bulletin, August 09, 2012  

August 09, 2012 edition of the Nanaimo News Bulletin