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Stingers lose at home to McGill

by James Kierans September 17, 2016
Stingers lose at home to McGill

The Concordia baseball team fell to a strong Redmen squad 11-3

The Concordia Stingers baseball team fell flat in their first game against divisional rivals, the McGill Redmen, with Concordia starting pitcher Sam Belisles-Springer allowing eight runs in the first three innings of a 11-3 loss on Sept. 15.

Defensive breakdowns put the Stingers behind early in the game. With no one out in the top of the second inning, Stingers catcher Dario Vincelli let a pitch get past him, giving Redmen hitter Rocky Hroch a chance to steal home from third base. Belisles-Springer rushed to the plate to prevent the run, but the ball was knocked out of his glove and away from the plate by the runner, giving another Redmen player the opportunity to score.

The night was a forgettable one for Belisles-Springer, as he allowed seven walks, five hits and eight runs before being called off the mound part-way through the third inning.

“It seems to be there’s a mechanical problem there that we have to work out. He’s doing fine mechanics on his breaking balls, but his fastballs are way up, and he’s [alerting the batter of his pitch],” Stingers manager Howie Schwartz said.

Belisles-Springer added that for him to succeed he needs to get to strike one, no matter what kind of pitch he gets there with.

Despite giving up eight runs, the Stingers starting pitcher managed seven strikeouts before being pulled. Schwartz praised him and noted that he knows Belisles-Springer is a more than capable pitcher.

“That’s not a guy who throws eighty-eight pitches in two and a third innings, and I’ve known him for three years,” Schwartz said. “Everybody gets roughed up every now and again.”

Stingers designated hitter Matthew Adams-Whittaker, who pitched almost four innings as a replacement for Belisles-Springer, received high praise from his coach.

“I was very impressed. He’s going to get a lot more innings,” Schwartz said.

The Stingers next games are against Carleton on Sept. 18.

Adams-Whittaker held McGill to one run while in the game, and allowed no walks. His slower pitching style caught the Redmen off guard.

“He’s not over-powering—that’s the beauty,” Schwartz said. “We have a fastball pitcher in there at the beginning, and then to throw somebody in there like that, it really throws the batters off base.”

In the fifth inning, the Stingers mounted their only significant offensive push of the game, scoring two runs and advancing additional runners to second and third, before a foul fly ball and a strikeout dashed their hopes of a comeback.

The Stingers would concede two last runs in the seventh inning, although a diving grab by Concordia’s second-string shortstop Liam Griffin to keep the ball in the infield helped prevent a mercy rule.

“[Griffin’s] going to be coming into late innings mostly. He’s gonna get his chances. He’s a good kid, great attitude, but [Matthew] Litwin’s our shortstop,” Schwartz said. “We might move [Griffin] around third and second base, just to get him into the game because his glove is so good.”

Despite his team’s struggles, Schwartz took the game as a learning experience.

“We’re still finding out a lot about this team. So many new, young guys are getting their first taste of this,” Schwartz said. “You have to get ready for a long season of learning to get ready for the playoffs. It’s not about winning every game.”

The Stingers will return to Gary Carter Field on Sept. 18 for a double-header against Carleton University.

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