The Nanaimo NightOwls continue to play near-spotless defence and get strong pitching performances — there just weren’t enough runs Saturday in a 4-3 loss to the Riverhawks at Remax Field.

The game was played at 1pm local time to avoid conflict with the start of the Stanley Cup final, featuring the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.


The Riverhawks used a three-run first inning for most of the scoring and held on the rest of the way, leveling the series at 1-1 — a Sunday game, slated for noon Pacific Time, will decide the series winner. The NightOwls are now 5-3 on the season, while Edmonton improves to 4-4.

Right-hander Payton Robertson, a returning pitcher from Arizona Christian making his season debut, went three innings, giving up four hits and striking out two. Tahj Orona and Grant Jakobson both went two innings with Jakobson giving up a run after hitting two batters and giving up a single. Ryan Inouye had a clean inning to end that part of Nanaimo’s day.

The NightOwls had seven hits in total, with no one mustering more than one hit. Wylie Waters hit the team’s first home run of the season, coming in the third inning, while Drew Rutter and Nevan Noonan had doubles and Mitchell Middlemiss had an RBI triple in the eighth to draw within one. Sammy Kahler had a hit and stolen base.

The next home game for the NightOwls is Wednesday, June 12, when the Island-rival Victoria HarbourCats arrive as part of the ReMax Generation Island Cup. On the Victoria roster are two outfielders, Manny Jr. and Lucas Ramirez, who are the sons of famed MLB all-star and World Series champion Manny Ramirez, who played for Cleveland, Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Ramirez family is living in Victoria for the summer to follow the two players, and Manny will be around the team.


The Redmond Dudes are in Nanaimo at historic Serauxmen Stadium for a weekend series June 14-15-16.


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