Playoff season is supposed to be a brand new season for any sports team.
Despite that old saying, the Concordia Stingers’ baseball team was unable to shake off that streak of losses to cross-town rivals McGill Redbirds last Friday at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park by losing game one of a best-of-three series by a score of 3-0.
Concordia pitcher Nat Thomas had a rough start to his game as he loaded the bases in the first inning.
Thomas gave the Redbirds a 1-0 lead as he walked Galen Davies, which resulted in Craig Betts to trot to home.
He pulled himself together following that at bat, and dug himself out of a hole when he k’d the Redbirds’ Jason Starr to end the inning.
Most of the game’s action occurred in the second inning, with Concordia unable to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation with one man down.
Bases were loaded when Nick Cirino walked to first, and all seemed set for a few Concordia points on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Stingers, Redbird pitcher Paul Bonner was not thinking along the same lines, striking out Concordia’s two following batters.
To add insult to injury, in the very same inning, leadoff batter Mikael Braun hit the first pitch high and long, so much so that he rounded the bases and safely crossed home plate for an inside-the-park-homerun to put the Redbirds up by 2.
The Stingers’ outfielders then scrambled to catch a stray ball hit by Jason Doucet, allowing him to run around the diamond for another point on the scoreboard.
“We swung a lot of bad pitches, and didn’t wait for our pitch, Thomas said. “Overall hitting wasn’t that great, so it affected our momentum.”
Although the Concordia squad did try to turn the game around, they hit a brick wall holding an uncanny resemblance to Bonner. The Redbirds’ pitcher proved to be relentless by striking out nine Concordia batters, which included striking out the side in the fourth inning.
“Our hitting clearly was [the weak point of the game], we did not play good baseball at the plate,” Schwartz explained. Bad hitting was the major flaw that was repeated throughout the game, giving the Stingers close to no chance at a scoring opportunity.
According to coach Howard Schwartz, the Redbirds are a team against which one must play his A-game, and the Stingers failed to do so in game one.
The loss seemed to have motivated the players to come back on Saturday, effectively eliminating the Redbirds with scores of 8-6 and 4-0 in Games Two and Three.
It is worth saying that Game Two was decided in 15 innings, with Sean Smith hitting a two-run homerun at the bottom of the 15th.
“I have been coaching this team since its beginning eight years ago,” Schwartz said. “This was the gutsiest performance I’ve ever seen.”