The Concordia Stingers baseball team are off to the finals after they beat the Montreal Carabins 3-2 in game two of the best-of-three series on Saturday afternoon at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park.
The second game was a very tight match. From the very beginning, a pitcher’s duel was in the making, as Stingers’ ace Brandon Berkovits pitched what Howie Schwartz described as “his most focused performance” of what he’s seen over the last four years.
Berkovits pitched five and two/thirds innings of shutout ball, giving up no earned runs and leaving a couple of guys on base, one due to an error.
“I gave it my all. It’s probably one of the best games I’ve pitched,” said Berkovits.
Exiting with a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning, Schwartz handed the ball to the hard-throwing lefty, Andre Lagarde, who came in for his second relief performance of the day hoping to get a four-out save to secure the series victory for the Stingers.
Despite being clutch all afternoon, the two-out error in the inning proved to be costly, as a two-out, two-run single gave the Carabins their first lead of the game.
However, Stinger Peter Zidros provided his own heroics in the bottom half of the inning, slapping a two-run single to left field that eventually became the game-winning hit.
Even though he gave up two runs in the sixth inning, Lagarde returned to the mound in full confidence and closed out the game in fine fashion.
“I like the do-or-die type situations. I like that kind of stuff,” said Lagarde. “[The] team played well, [we] needed to win two games and that’s exactly what we did.”
Although the Stingers still have the league finals next weekend against Carleton University, a spot in the finals means they will travel to Windsor, Ont., to take part in the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association Championships being held Oct. 18-20.
“I’m so excited. I went my first two years. I can’t wait!” said Lagarde.
The finals will take place next weekend with a doubleheader at Trudeau Park on Saturday beginning at noon, with a potential third game taking place in Ottawa the following day.