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M’s ‘n’ O’s: Prince George Senior Baseball final pins top-seed against defending champions

Mariners and Orioles have already faced each other three times in 2019 playoffs

The new triple-knockout playoff format for the Prince George Senior Men’s Baseball League (PGSBL) has reduced five teams to two.

One was dominant all season long, while the other has been near perfect in the playoffs.

The Queensway Auto World Mariners were the number-one team coming into the post-season with a 16-4 record.

The JRJ Construction Orioles are the reigning 2018 champions of the PGSBL and have made it all the way back despite an under-500 season at 8-12.

Both have four wins in the playoffs, both have the hottest pitchers, both have already faced each other three times since mid-August, and both have one goal in mind.

Now, before we get to a synopsis of the M’s and the O’s, here’s what’s at stake on Tuesday night (Sept. 3) at Citizen Field.

If the Orioles win, they claim the 2019 championship; if the Mariners win, a second game will be played on Wednesday (Sept. 4) as both teams would only have two losses in the tournament.


The M’s had 159 hits and 16 home runs during season play, making them the most dominant team on offense in the PGSBL.

While the sticks didn’t fail Queensway for most of the post-season, the defense they faced at the plate deprived them of chances to score when they needed to.

This led to losing their playoff opener to the Orioles, but also served as motivation to win the next three games.

“Feels good, we been battling out there, but ‘Hunts’ was great for us on the mound,” said Head Coach Curtis Sawchuk to PrinceGeorgeMatters following Thursday’s (Aug. 29) semi-final win to eliminate the Inland Control and Services Tigers, in which the Mariners had to climb all the way back from a 6-2 deficit to the 8-7 walk-off win at Citizen Field.

He’s talking about the pitching performance of Brandon Hunter, but also added his offensive presence at the plate has helped the team to get within arms reach of the trophy.

“That was the first time he’s thrown six innings since he was 25 years old,” Sawchuk explained. “He took the ball today and said, ‘I want it,’ so he put the team on his back and had a great performance. Not only does he do it on the stick, but to come out and do it on the mound too, there’s not much more you can ask for.”

Sawchuk understands the team standing in front of them this week will be a tough fight, so in order to beat them twice in two nights, he says it’s the little things to keep in mind while out on the field facing their best batters.

“We just got to take care of the baseball,” said Sawchuk. “You know, not make a lot of errors that we don’t need to make. They have a good team, we’ve faced them a while this past couple of days, and we owe them one too. But, we just need to not make any errors, don’t throw the ball away, throw strikes, and then we’ll be fine.”

Sawchuk is expected to take the mound himself for the Mariners tomorrow. 


In the other dugout, the defending champions are eyeing a repeat with a team that has had one distinct advantage of their green and white counterparts.

JRJ Construction won their first post-season match by forfeit as the D.O.B Contracting Gladiators couldn’t produce a full roster that evening (Aug. 20). 

Head Coach Kalen Kirkpatrick tells PrinceGeorgeMatters that game has come into conversation amongst his teammates despite an impressive playoff run that began the next day.

“We’ll take it, but we would’ve much rather have played that game. Coming into the playoffs, we were a bit slow, so it would’ve been nice to have had the extra game to get things going a little bit.”

One player that has stood out to Kirkpatrick these playoffs is Jon Bourassa (and rightfully so).

Not only has he been able to get at least one hit in every game thus far, but he’s also been hot on the mound with two wins in two starts.

This includes the two-hitter semi-final win over the Mariners on Aug. 28, which was two outs shy of a perfect game.

“He’s pitched two gems of ball games and he’s been swinging it pretty good,” said Kirkpatrick. “He’s been around on this team a while. He’s actually one of the original members of the team, so he’s always the guy that just gets everybody going; he’s a great teammate and a great ballplayer.”

The Orioles were 0-5 to the M’s in the regular season but are 2-1 against them in the playoffs, even outscoring them 19-8.

Kirkpatrick is confident his players are rested, ready to play, and are waiting to hoist the PGSBL trophy a second straight year.

“Our pitching has been awesome for us, we’ve got lots of depth, and so we’ve got lots of fresh arms. As long as we can score some runs and get at them early and our pitchers can hold them down, I think we’ll be good to go.”

He says Craig Langille will be the starting pitcher tomorrow night and if a second game is necessary on Wednesday, the Orioles will go with Bourassa.

So, the season comes down to this and while most of the players are likely out this Labour Day long weekend trying to soak in the last bit of summer, they’ll all have one thing on their minds.

The Mariners and the Orioles will square off under the Citizen Field lights this Tuesday with the championship trophy in the stadium.

The game is free for the public to watch, but still bring some change if you’ve got a hankering for peanuts and crackerjacks.

First pitch goes for 7 p.m.