The Concordia Stingers came off of a disappointing split on Saturday against the Carleton Ravens to split their home-opening doubleheader against the McGill Redbirds on Sunday at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Cote St-Luc.
The Redbirds won the first game 3-0, which was a full-scale pitching duel between Jordan Beitel and Concordia’s intimidating ace Nat Thomas. McGill managed only four hits off of Thomas, but three of them were in the three-run third inning when all of the game’s scoring was done. Alex Day and Simon Ayotte got it started with back-to-back singles, then Brandon DuBreuil was hit by a Thomas pitch. Thomas then balked with the bases loaded, allowing Day to score. The hitter at the plate during the balk, John Comeau, finished the job by clearing the bases on a hard-hit single to right field. Thomas then retired the next three hitters to get out of the inning.
Beitel, for his part, pitched just about as well as you can pitch a game. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning. Concordia pinch-hitter Michael Pantin broke up the no-hitter when he doubled to left-center field with two outs in the inning. Beitel forced Jamie Boulanger to ground out and struck out Mark Therrien to get within one out of the no-hitter.
The second game saw pitcher Ben Chisholm going for the Redbirds facing off against Pantin for the Stingers. It wasn’t nearly as close as the first game however, with the Stingers winning 9-2.
This game showed once again how good pitching can shut down good hitting, as Pantin pitched a gem for Concordia. He gave up four hits and two runs over seven innings while striking out eight and had at least one strikeout in every inning.
Chisholm couldn’t silence the Stinger bats and was stung for nine runs over 5.2 innings including three runs in both the second and sixth innings. Alex Monfette was the Stingers’ offensive star, hitting a three-run double to right-center field in the second inning to make the score 5-0 and adding another double in the sixth which scored Jamie Boulanger.
McGill’s runs came in the top of the sixth when Alex Day singled and scored on a Jonas Prupas base hit and Ben Fax reached base on an error and later scored on a passed ball.
“The first week is when you get out most of the bugs,” said Concordia head coach Howard Schwartz. “We’re taking it slowly. We don’t want to overuse our pitchers and hurt our chances in the long run. We’re more willing to get ready for the playoffs than to battle for first place.”
“When we played Carleton we should have taken both games,” said Stingers third baseman Tariq Jeeroburkhan. “It might have been a blessing in disguise because it really woke us up early in the season. When we get our hitting going, watch out Nationals.”