Matt Simpson split his time behind the plate and in left field with the Pirates this season. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Simpson covets baseball experiences with the Pirates program

Chemainus product reaps the rewards of hard work with his teammates

Diamonds are forever and Chemainus product Matt Simpson is always going to covet this season’s experience with the Mid-Island Pirates in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.

The Pirates captured the regular season pennant with a 38-10 record, but couldn’t quite finish the job after losing 9-2 to the North Shore Twins during the final of the league’s top five championship tournament at UBC on the long weekend.

Simpson and a host of players from the Duncan and Ladysmith areas contributed to the success of the team, based out of Nanaimo and under the direction of coaching guru Doug Rogers.

“Our coaches, they saw us in our Grade 9-10 years,” said Simpson. “They knew right off the bat we were going to be good three years down the road.”

After starting out in the Chemainus & District Baseball Association, Simpson joined the Cowichan Valley Mustangs in bantam and then became a member of the junior Pirates before making the move to the senior Pirates.

It’s always an adjustment going from one level to another and it was no different for Simpson between the junior and senior Pirates. The team finished eighth last season before making the huge leap in the standings to first.

“It was kind of like I was playing a little bit, obviously not as much as I’m playing now,” Simpson said of his inaugural senior campaign.

He split time between catcher and left field.

The large majority of the players on this year’s team were in Grade 12, including Simpson. That creates some other difficulties with players being so busy at school as well as grad activities.

“There’s weekends guys couldn’t make it – they had prom and grad stuff,” Simpson conceded.

He was the co-valedictorian of his grad class at Chemainus Secondary School.

The Pirates were so solid from top to bottom, they didn’t miss a beat whenever anyone was absent.

A hectic regular season schedule also included regular workouts for Simpson at Anytime Fitness in Chemainus.

“They still expect us to do workouts on our own throughout the year,” he indicated.

Simpson always sees room for improvement in himself.

“I would have liked to get my batting average a little bit higher,” he conceded.

Simpson batted around the .250 mark for the season.

The Pirates swept Victoria Eagles 6-1 and 5-3 at Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium to earn their place in the final four tournament.

There’s now a brief period for Simpson to take a break and then get used to the idea of life after high school, as he’s heading to Vancouver Island University in the Bachelor of Education program.

“I guess when September comes around, it’ll stick in my mind I’m not going back to high school again.”

Simpson’s late birthdate ensures he can play another season with the Pirates.

“Hopefully after that year, I’ll go down to the States on a baseball scholarship,” he said.

“I’ve been talking to a few schools. Just the right offer hasn’t come up yet.”

Looking back on his time since joining the Pirates, Simpson has nothing but fond memories.

“I’ve loved it – just being able to play, especially playing at a high level, too. It doesn’t really matter where I’m playing.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The baseball season with the Mid-Island Pirates coincided with a busy Grade 12 year at school for Chemainus Secondary School graduate Matt Simpson. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Matt Simpson in action during the BCPBL’s final five playoff championship tournament at UBC. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

Just Posted

Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke’s proposed pub is one step closer after a packed public hearing

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Ladysmith Art Council announces new Poet in Residence

John Edwards will serve as the inaugural Poet in Residence

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Most Read